New Year’s Eve Among the Worst Holidays for Drunk Driving

With New Year’s Eve just days away, it’s the perfect time to brush up on precautions that are especially important around the holiday season. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of vehicle accidents involving alcohol spike dramatically between Christmas and New Year’s Day. And while seasonal binge drinking is a popular way to celebrate with friends and family, New Year’s isn’t – statistically speaking – the most dangerous day to drive in New York.

Fatal drunk driving accidents, according to national reports, escalate over the major long holiday weekends as opposed to one-night holidays like New Year’s Eve. When hoards of tired and impaired drivers hit the roads, accidents spike drastically.

Worst holidays for drunk drivers

Numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that Memorial Day Weekend is the most dangerous time to be on the road. According to statistics, more than 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents during the Memorial Day holidays involve drunk or impaired drivers.

The other major summer holidays are not far behind. Labor Day weekend averages nearly 310 fatalities followed by the Fourth of July.

Thanksgiving has been one of the deadliest holidays in terms of drunk driving fatalities. The spike in accident rates is not surprising considering this is one of the biggest travel days of the year.

Alcohol-related crashes tend to increase between the afternoon of Christmas Eve and the evening of Christmas Day. However, these rates tend to drop when Christmas falls on a weekday, as it did this year.

New Year’s Eve is synonymous with epic parties that rage into the morning hours. Unfortunately, this holiday is marred by the effects of excess alcohol consumption and bad decision making. Every year on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, countless lives are claimed because of a drunk or impaired driver.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Despite national campaigns advocating for road safety on this alcohol-fueled holiday, many people make the mistake of driving home after a few too many drinks on New Year’s Eve – with tragic consequences. In New York, law enforcement will continue increase patrols and check points as part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, NY police will be on the lookout for drunk, distracted and impaired drivers through Tuesday, January 1st. Last year’s campaign resulted in 650 DWI arrests for driving while intoxicated.

One of the easiest ways to stay safe on New Year’s Eve is to stay off the roads completely. However, if you’re planning on enjoying a few cocktails, plan ahead with these tips.

  • Don’t let anyone who appears impaired or drunk get behind the wheel
  • Always have a designated driver who will remain sober
  • Wear your seat belt
  • Arrange to use public transportation or a ridesharing service
  • Report suspicious driving activity to 911 immediately
  • Download the SaferRide app, which lets you share your location with friends when you need a pick up
  • Make prior arrangements to spend the night at a nearby hotel

Here at Edelman, Krasin and Jaye, we hope that you and your loved ones ring in a happy and safe New Year’s Eve. If you are involved in an accident, we provide compassionate, client-focused personal injury representation.

We advocate for clients in Suffolk and Nassau Counties, and provide confidential case reviews free of charge. If you need expert legal guidance, call 1-800-469-7429 and go to our contact page to speak with a New York City & Long Island car accident lawyer.

Additional Resources:

  1. American Safety Council, The Six Most Dangerous Holidays to be on the Road
  2. NJ Herald, NY state’s anti-DWI campaign to continue into New Year’s Day
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