It’s well-known that there are more drunk drivers on the road on New Year’s Eve than on most other nights of the year. But statistics on drunk driving accidents taking place on New Year’s Eve are plenty shocking – and a good reason to be extremely cautious if you’re going to drive. More than 42% of automobile accidents on New Year’s Eve are a result of drunk driving. In other words, drunk drivers cause almost half the car accidents that take place on New Year’s Eve.
When you hear a statistic as shocking as that, your first question is ‘why’? Although it may seem like there’s one reason why – people drink on New Year’s Eve – there’s more to it than that. There’s definitely a sense of complacency for some older individuals, who know and understand the dangers of drinking and driving. They may feel that since they can handle their alcohol, having a few drinks isn’t dangerous. But it is. It’s especially dangerous for those who don’t drink. When drinks are flowing among families and friends, one might feel pressured to join in (even if drinking isn’t their favorite pastime). They believe “one or two” isn’t enough to intoxicate anyone without taking into consideration that their low tolerance could make one or two drinks feel like three or four. College students can be huge culprits too. Being on holiday vacation with little responsibility could lead them to make reckless choices – whether it’s drinking and driving or getting in someone else’s car that’s drinking and driving. They may also not have money for public transportation or taxi services – especially when they have more than one destination or party in mind for New Year’s Eve (which is very common). The moment they become intoxicated, their judgment is thrown off, their inhibitions are diminished, and their fear of driving drunk is practically gone.
Even after one drink, you simply shouldn’t drive. Alcohol may be a stimulant at first, but as time passes even after just one drink, you may begin to feel tired – driving while tired is dangerous too. If you plan to drive at all, simply don’t drink. Don’t think that coffee will sober you up, either. It won’t. Water may replenish you and help you keep your wits about you if you space your alcoholic drinks out with water, but it won’t keep you sober. Buzzed driving is drunk driving. And just because you’re not slurring words or having trouble standing straight, does not mean you are okay to drive. Motor skills are affected long before obvious signs of intoxication become visible.
If you plan to drink, make a plan for a designated driver. If your designated driver plan fails, make sure you have money for either public transportation or taxi services. Phone a friend if need be – so long as you know they’re sober. And if all else fails, sleep over. Don’t attempt to walk home if you’re intoxicated. There will likely be drunk drivers on the road and this presents a serious risk to pedestrians.