The most current statistics available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that during the holiday period, it was found that 41 percent of the fatalities on the road occurred on New Year’s and 38 percent on Christmas.
New Year’s Eve driving is dangerous as there are more alcohol-related vehicle accidents on this one night than any other night in the year. The average weekend, 12-hour window between 6:00 p.m. on December 31 and 6:00 a.m. on January 1, tends to have around 71 percent more crashes where alcohol and drugs are listed as contributing factors.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) wants drivers to consider the following statistics and facts about drunken driving:
- Twenty-eight people in the U.S. die every day due to drunk-driving accidents.
- The U.S. spends $199 billion annually on drunk-driving associated costs.
- There is no fast way to sober up.
- Chances are high that you will be involved in a drunk-driving accident during your life; 2 out of 3 people are.
- Drunk drivers who are arrested have likely driven drunk as many as 80 times before the first time they face arrest.
What are the consequences of drinking too much?
NIAAA says that alcohol enters the bloodstream as soon as a person takes the first sip. Alcohol’s immediate effects can appear within about 10 minutes. As drinking continues, the blood alcohol concentration increases (BAC level), which is the amount of alcohol present in the bloodstream. The higher the BAC, the more impaired the person becomes. The effects can include:
- Reduced inhibitions
- Slurred speech
- Motor impairment
- Memory problems
- Concentration problems
- Breathing problems
Other risks of drinking can include:
- Car crashes and other accidents
- Risky behavior
- Violent behavior
- Suicide and homicide
Who is particularly at risk?
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), certain age groups have a higher risk of drinking and driving during the holiday season. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 tend to be more often involved in fatal crashes related to alcohol use. On News Year’s Eve 2016, 33 people died. In 2015 on the same holiday, 29 people died.
How to stay safe this New Year’s Eve?
Before heading out to New Year’s celebrations this year, we recommend the following tips:
- Have a designated driver before the first drink.
- Spend the night at a friend or family member’s home.
- If hosting a New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day party, be responsible and help guests arrange transportation.
- Never ride with someone who has been drinking.
- Take the keys from any impaired drivers before they get behind the wheel.
- Call the police if you see an impaired driver out on the road.
“Enjoying the holidays is important, but everyone needs to know there is a tomorrow and drinking and driving may prevent the further enjoyment of life. Should you be injured by a drunk driver, please contact our experienced team. We are available to assist you 24/7,” said Fort Myers DUI Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Hurt By Drunk Driver Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.