2016 is nearly here. For many, ringing in the New Year involves a traditional toast with champagne, sparkling wine or even beer. Will you be joining us in toasting the New Year?
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, alcohol-related fatalities triple each year in the period between Thanksgiving and January 3rd. While the number of drunk driving deaths is highest on Thanksgiving Eve, New Year’s Eve is a close second. Last year, 41 percent of Pennsylvania’s New Year’s Eve traffic deaths involved alcohol, compared to about 33 percent on a typical day.
We would never suggest breaking with tradition, but we do believe that a Pennsylvania drunk driving accident is a terrible way to start the New Year. So, we’ve gathered these tips from our Pennsylvania accident lawyers to keep you and your loved ones safe as you celebrate 2016:
Tip #1: Plan your trip home in advance. If you know that alcohol will be served, make plans for a safe ride home ahead of time. One popular option is to choose a designated driver. The designated driver agrees to stay sober throughout the evening and make sure that everyone gets home safely. However, a designated driver isn’t the only option.
One popular option is Uber. However, surge pricing can mean a pricey ride home. Run the fare estimate before you ride to avoid surprise bills.
Safe Ride programs like SafeRide America and SafeRide.org allow you to schedule a ride home for ou and your car or even hire an affordable driver for the night. Click here for an up-to-date list of designated driver programs in Pennsylvania.
Another option is to make plans to spend the night. Pack an overnight bag and stay at your location until you are sober enough to drive home.
Tip #2: Don’t plan to walk. Drinking and walking can be just as deadly as drinking and driving. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more pedestrians die on New Year’s than on any other day of the year. If you plan to take advantage of SEPTA’s all-night New Year’s Eve service on the Broad Street Line or Market Frankford Line or the late night regional rail service, make sure that you are sober enough to safely get from the station to your destination. Otherwise, get a ride home.
Tip #3: Before you drink, give up your keys: It’s a fact that drinking can impair your judgement. Even the most responsible individuals make stupid decisions after a few drinks. So, give your keys to your designated driver or host before you start drinking.
Tip #4: Coffee won’t sober you up. Many people believe that a strong cup of coffee can speed up the ability to metabolize alcohol. This is not true. Neither coffee, food, nor fresh air can make you sober. The body metabolizes alcohol at a rate of .015 percent of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) per hour. Only time will reduce your blood alcohol content.
Whatever your plans this New Year’s Eve, all of us at Ostroff Injury Law wish you a safe and happy new year.