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Staying Safe on South Florida Roads through the New Year

New Year’s Eve has long been notorious for parties and car accidents.

Everyone wants to have a memorable night and alcohol often plays a big part in the activities, as it does throughout the entire holiday season. However, safety is a must when participating in the festivities. Whether you’re staying in and celebrating with friends and family, or you’re traveling to a party or city bash, following a few safety tips will ensure that you see the clock strikes midnight, and safely ring in the New Year!

One of the biggest concerns of New Year’s is the risk for alcohol-related car accidents. Many people believe that New Year’s Eve is the night when the most drunken driving accidents occur but they are wrong; New Year’s Eve runs a distant second to the holiday that statistically has the largest number of drunk-driving fatalities — Thanksgiving. While New Year’s might not be ranked as number one, there are still hundreds who lose their life on this celebratory night because of irresponsible decisions.

Our Port St. Lucie personal injury attorneys understand that more than motorists need to be concerned with their safety on New Year’s. Pedestrians and bicyclists also need to be cautious of the travelers around them. Aware traveling may be your saving grace when it comes to dodging traffic.

The average person metabolizes alcohol at the rate of about one drink per hour. A standard drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, which contain the same amount of alcohol, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Regardless of your weight or your height, you should not use this calculation to figure out if you’re safe to get behind the wheel. You should never attempt to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol — no matter how much or how little.

Every day, almost 30 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 48 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $51 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

New Year’s Eve Safe Driving Tips:

-If you’re driving, be aware of your surroundings. New Year’s Eve is notorious for drunk driving, and the best way to keep you and your loved ones safe, is to know where you’re at and be alert while behind the wheel.

-Take the keys: If you have a friend who is too drunk to drive, take the keys. Get your friend a ride home with a trusted sober driver, or call his or her family for a ride.

-Arrive early to allow for traveling on slippery roads and to avoid congestion.

-If you plan on drinking, don’t drive! Protect yourself and others by having a designated driver.

-Consider hiring a shuttle or limousine service to transport you and your friends to and from your event.

-Watch for high beams. It’s often a sign of a drunk driver. While you might be tempted to flash a high beaming car, be careful not to overdo it. The driver could be distracted by the flashing lights and swerve into your lane.

-Stick Together: This way we can look out for our friends and family. Going out to parties and nightclubs means a fast-paced, crazy night; so be sure to travel in groups. Having a safety net around you in this environment is imperative.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, contact Freeman Injury Law at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Couple Seeks Compensation Via Florida’s Dram Shop Law, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, September 6, 2013

Drunk Driving Crackdowns in South Florida Continue Through New Year, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, December 15, 2012

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