New Year’s Eve and drinking go hand in hand for many people. AAA Carolinas urges those planning to celebrate the arrival of 2019 to do so safely, especially when on the road. Follow these NYE safety tips to ensure everyone gets home safely, and if drinking is part of your New Year’s holiday plan this season, don’t get behind the wheel.
“Don’t start 2019 with a tragedy,” said Dave Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “Have a plan before you take your first sip of alcohol by designating a sober driver or utilizing a ride sharing service such as Uber or Lyft to ensure a safe holiday for you and everyone else on the road.”
On average, Americans consume 4.4 drinks on New Years Eve according to AAC. Beyond that, forty seven percent of men and forty percent of women admitted to binge drinking. If you or your friends plan to drink, be sure everyone has a safe way home.
NYE Safety Tips from AAA Carolinas:
- Decide ahead of time whether you will be drinking or driving – you cannot do both.
- Plan your ride home before the night begins – whether that be designating a sober driver or planning to use a taxi service/ride sharing service.
- Download a ride-sharing app like Uber for convenience. Play around with the app to familiarize yourself with it.
- Be aware of those around you. If you see someone getting behind the wheel intoxicated, take their keys and assist them in finding a safe ride home.
- If you are hosting a party with alcohol, be a responsible host. Allow guests to stay the night if they need to or find them a safe ride home.
- Have non-alcoholic beverages on hand and stop serving alcohol at least an hour before your guests go home.
- If you see a driver on the road who you suspect is impaired, pull over to a safe spot and call 911 – giving police a description of the vehicle.
North Carolina’s “Booze It & Lose It” campaign and South Carolina’s “Sober or Slammer!” campaigns ensure that extra law enforcement will be on the roads looking for impaired drivers. According to the NCDOT, “Motorists caught driving while impaired could face jail time, lose their driving privileges and pay an average of $10,000 in fines, towing fees and other expenses associated with a DWI.”
Last year, there were 690 crashes resulting in 345 injuries and eight fatalities in North Carolina over the 24-hour period of New Year’s, according to the NCDOT. In South Carolina, there were 733 collisions resulting in 337 injuries and five fatalities, according to the SCDPS.
In addition to the above safety tips, motorists are advised to keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as coordination and lack of attention puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. If you’re on foot, keep an eye out for cars, cross at intersections, and obey walk signals.