We’re hoping for a great year ahead, and so are you, no doubt. But if you’re a driver, there’s one hurdle you still need to make it over before the year begins: New Year’s Eve.
Or more specifically, New Year’s Day between two and five in the morning. That is possibly the most dangerous time of the year to be on the road. Why?
- People are tired. Many people journeyed a long way to get to their parties, and are now driving home, having been awake many hours. They’re far from peak condition.
- It’s dark. More crashes occur at night than during the day, for reasons that aren’t hard to figure out.
- More drivers are on the road. People have rung in the New Year, and most set out for home within an hour or two after midnight.
- Winter weather conditions can be hazardous. In many parts of the country there is snow, ice and rain.
- Alcohol. That’s the big reason that early morning on New Year’s Day is such a deadly time to be on the road – the single worst day for impaired driving crashes. Not everyone has been sensible about choosing a designated driver or getting a ride home. Too many people think (wrongly) that because they haven’t drunk anything since midnight that the alcohol has dissipated from their system.
If you are attending New Year’s Eve party, follow these hints:
- Designate a driver who won’t be drinking to drive you home
- If you’re the host, offer non-alcoholic beverages and watch for guests who might try to drive impaired
- Take the car keys from anyone who wants to drive after drinking
And of course, the big one:
- Never drink and drive.
Follow these and you’ll easily get over the hurdle and into a safe New Year!