With many of us returning to a traditional New Year’s Eve celebration, we’d like to remind you of a few safety tips to keep in mind.
New Year’s Eve Driving
After midnight, New Year’s celebrations end, and millions take to roads to make their way home. The number of travelers plus the certainty of irresponsibly impaired drivers make for a dangerous evening on the roads. It is one of the deadliest days of drunk driving in our nation.
If you are celebrating New Year’s Eve away from your home or will be traveling at all, here are some ideas to keep you safe.
- Plan your travel options ahead of time, arranging for a designated driver, a hotel stay, and extra “Plan B” options before your night out.
- Consider local Sober Ride programs and have their information handy for yourself or friends. SoberRides.org provides a desktop and mobile site with options for how to get home safely.
- Use transportation services such as Uber and Lyft or cabs both to and from your destination.
- If you must leave your car, park in a populated, well-lit area.
- Bring only what you need with you – including identification, money, and one credit card. Leave any department store cards or unneeded valuables at home.
New Year’s Day is also the most hazardous day of the year for pedestrians. Not only are drivers potentially impaired, but those on foot can also ignore traffic lights or crosswalks. If you are walking, make sure to stay on pedestrian paths and observe traffic laws; only cross at crosswalks and try to remain in well-lit areas. If you are driving, take extra care to consider those on foot.
For Party Hosts
Hosting a New Year’s Eve party can be a great way to spend time with friends and family. Hosting does come with great responsibilities. In addition to providing a great party atmosphere, consider these tips to keep your guests safe.
- Make sure smoke alarms are working and have fresh batteries.
- Have the numbers of local hospitals and authorities ready in the case of an accident.
- Have cabs/ride services available to provide rides for your guests, or have a designated driver ready to take guests home if necessary.
- Offer non-alcoholic drink options and have plenty of water available.
- Use differently colored cups for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Dump unattended cups so kids and pets do not consume them.
- Stop serving alcohol several hours before the party ends.
- Provide food and snacks so guests aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
- Do not provide alcohol to minors. Keep an eye on all drinks and supplies.
- Provide guests with a place to stay overnight should they need to. Even if accommodations are less than ideal (like a blanket on the floor), they will be safe!