The coming weeks are one of the most joyful times of the year. But in celebrating Christmas and the New Year, many people tend to forget that this can be one of the most dangerous times of the year as well. Partying often leads to poor decisions, and poor decisions create situations like drunk driving and going home with a stranger whom you can’t be sure you can trust.
To make sure that you don’t fall prey to poor decisions, the Trenton Police Department in Missouri has some important advice for all New Year’s Eve revelers. It would be just as applicable here in California as it would in that state.
You first ought to understand just how prevalent drunk and impaired driving is, especially on this of all days. More than 10,000 individuals died over the course of 2010 because they were involved in some sort of drunk driving accident, and that number dropped only slightly in 2011. To make sure fatalities continue to decline, citizens must police their own behavior instead of rolling the dice on a traffic arrest at best or a potential tragedy at worst.
To ensure that you’re not going to be a victim of drunk driving, be smart and plan ahead by giving someone the job of the designated driver. This person should abstain from alcohol throughout the night so that they can transport you safely to and from whatever party or parties you go to.
There’s one obstacle that confronts even those who are completely sober when they get behind the wheel on New Year’s Eve or the early hours of 2013: the other people on the road. You and your friends may have taken the necessary precautions to ensure that you’re not endangering yourselves and others on the road, but how can you be sure that others have been just as cautious?
The truth is, you can’t. So if possible, consider avoiding driving if doing so is at all possible. Get a hotel room within walking distance of the party (travel with a group in a well-lit environment if you go with this option), or consider making plans to travel via public transportation like a subway. And if you do have to get into a vehicle, then be sure to buckle up your seatbelt and not fit too many people in the automobile. Your designated driver should drive as cautiously as possible to account for the poor driving behavior of others.
Finally, look out for your friends during your time at the party. Let them know when their drinking is getting out of hand, especially if they reach for their keys. Stay safe so that your 2013 can be as great as your 2012.