The New Year’s Day holiday is a time of celebration, and for many people that means alcohol. According to one study, sales of alcohol rise more than 159% on New Year’s Eve, making it the biggest day of the year for alcohol sales in the United States.
Unfortunately, all this alcohol can also mean a lot of intoxicated drivers on the nation’s roads.
One recent study compared the number of fatal crashes reported on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 to other 48-hour periods around the same time of year and found striking evidence that New Year’s Eve may be the deadliest time of year for drivers.
Relying on data compiled by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration, researchers found that the number of fatal crashes nationwide jumps 13% in the 48-hour period around the turn of the year, when compared to the four weeks before it. A large percentage of these crashes involve nighttime driving. The number of fatal motor vehicle accidents at night (defined as from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) during this time frame jumps by 136%.
It should not surprise you to learn that many of these accidents involve alcohol — about three times as many as during other times of the year. In many states, 50% of all accidents during the New Year’s period involve alcohol.
The best way to avoid adding to these sad statistics is to avoid drinking and driving on New Year’s Eve. If you go out, have a designated driver, call a taxi or a rideshare service, or take public transportation.
These actions can go a long way toward protecting yourself, the people you love and the public. Unfortunately, they don’t necessarily protect you from other people who are less careful.
After an accident
If you have been injured by a drunk driver on New Year’s Eve or any other day of the year, you have probably been left with medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. If you have lost a family member due to another driver’s negligence, you are left without that person’s companionship and income.
When you file a lawsuit for personal injury or wrongful death, you can receive compensation for your losses and hold negligent drivers accountable.