[profileleft][/profileleft]As we move towards the precipice of 2017, many of us are already making or looking forward to plans for celebrating the New Year. New Year’s Eve is a time for family, friends and anyone else who is important in our lives. We plan on attending celebrations of all types. Unfortunately, one of the aspects of our celebrations that we tend to overlook is our transportation. As many people would probably guess, New Year’s Eve is one of the deadliest nights of the year when it comes to auto accidents. The San Diego personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys would like to wish everyone a happy and, above all else, safe New Year. We’d also like to share 10 ideas for you to consider if you’re going to be out celebrating that will help minimize the chance that you’ll be one of the people involved in holiday car accidents.
1. Do Not Drink and Drive
We’ll start with the most obvious idea to consider for avoiding holiday car accidents: Do not, under any circumstances, drink and drive. We all know, or should know, about the dangers associated with getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. What some may not realize is that nearly half of all car accidents that occur on New Year’s Eve involve alcohol-impaired drivers. It’s simply not worth the risk.
2. Arrange to Celebrate Near Home
If you’re like a lot of other people, you’ll likely have several options for celebrating on New Year’s Eve. If that’s the case, you may want to consider attending a gathering that’s as close to home as possible. It’s simply a question of exposure: If you’re on the road for less time, that’s less time you will be at risk of encountering drunk drivers.
3. If A Nearby Celebration Isn’t Possible, Arrive Early
If you really want to ring in the New Year at a celebration that involves driving some distance, do what you can to arrive either at or near your destination early. This will allow you some time to think things through and plan the rest of your evening. Simple planning steps will provide you with the opportunity to avoid winding up behind the wheel unexpectedly later that night.
4. Avoid Driving During Peak Hours
The majority of car accidents overall occur when there are more people on the road, such as during rush hour. The same holds true of holiday car accidents – they tend to occur on New Year’s Eve after sundown. In furtherance of the idea above, you should not only arrive at your destination early but avoid driving during peak hours if possible.
5. Take Your Time
If you will be driving on New Year’s Eve and you will be avoiding driving during peak hours and arriving early, you should remind yourself as you head out that you have plenty of time. People who drive while rushed tend to make poor decisions more often than motorists who are calm. Do not hurry when heading to your gathering – taking your time could help you avoid one of the many holiday car accidents that will occur.
6. Drive As Defensively As Possible
Even if you’re doing everything you can to avoid holiday car accidents, the bottom line is that the only one you can control is yourself. You will be sharing the roads with other motorists, and some of them may not be making the same responsible choices. Therefore, you need to drive as defensively as possible. You can do so by increasing your following distance, driving the speed limit and making sure to obey all traffic laws.
7. Wear Your Seatbelt
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, more than 12,000 people’s lives were saved because of seatbelts in 2014 alone in the United States. Given the number of holiday car accidents that occur on New Year’s Eve, wearing your seatbelt is even more important than usual. Make sure you’re fully protected while behind the wheel.
8. Remove Any Driving Distractions
New Year’s Eve is an evening filled with excitement and distractions. Much like wearing your seatbelt, you should do everything you can to avoid distractions while behind the wheel. The CDC also reports that 8 people are killed every day in the United States in crashes involving distracted drivers. Holiday car accidents are bound to involve people who are not paying attention to the road at the time of the collisions. Avoid this mistake by putting your cell phones away and leaving other controls in your vehicle alone while driving.
9. Arrange for Lodging if Possible
If you’re going to be celebrating festively somewhere and you’re not sure about how you’re going to get home, you need to figure out how to end your evening. Since driving is not a reasonable option given the holiday car accidents that will occur, you may consider arranging for lodging. If you are not going to be able to spend the night at the gathering, look for nearby hotels that have vacancies.
10. Arrange for Alternative Transportation
If you don’t want to look for lodging, another way to minimize your chance of being involved in one of the many holiday car accidents is to arrange for alternative transportation. Most people understand that taxi cabs and ride-sharing companies will be extremely busy, so make those arrangements ahead of time. If you’ll be heading out in a large group, you may also want to look into renting a bus or a limousine service and then splitting the costs.
How San Diego Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you are involved in one of the holiday car accidents that will occur in the area, you need to do what’s necessary to make sure that your legal rights and interests are protected and enforced. If you or someone you love is injured by a negligent or reckless motorist, contact the San Diego personal injury lawyers at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as possible to schedule a free initial consultation. Once again, we’d like to wish everyone a safe New Year’s celebration.