Safe Driving on New Year’s Eve Requires Planning
This New Year’s Eve, prepare to take a few steps and plan out your drive to and from your destination so that you and your family make it home safely in 2024.
Toasting the new year on the night of December 31st is a longtime tradition for most people, but getting behind the wheel drunk or intoxicated is both dangerous and deadly.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that more than 400 people could die on roadways across the United States over the New Year’s Day holiday period. The NYE holiday begins this year at 6 p.m. on Dec. 29th, 2023 through noon on January 1st, 2024.
Indeed, last year the California Highway Patrol arrested nearly 500 people for driving under the influence of alcohol and or drugs over the 30-hour maximum enforcement period over the New Year’s holiday. Authorities say it was like removing an impaired driver from the road nearly every four minutes. Still, despite efforts to combat impaired driving, there were at least three deaths on highways monitored by the CHP last year.
Additionally, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) reports there is roughly a 35 percent increase in the number of drunk driving deaths reported between Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Impaired Driving Fatalities Up 16 Percent in California
Traffic fatalities are on the rise in California with the latest statistics show they increased roughly 7.6% from 3,980 deaths in 2020 to 4,285 deaths in 2021, according to the latest statistics compiled by the Office of Traffic Safety. Furthermore, fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver increased even more by an estimated 16% from 1,180 deaths in 2020 to 1,370 deaths in 2021.
Strategize By Making a Plan to Come Home Safely
Those who plan to head out to parties, bars, restaurants and fireworks celebrations can make it home safely on New Year’s Eve 2024 with some strategic planning.
The safest plan is to completely avoid driving at all on New Year’s Eve by taking public transportation such as a bus or train, but if that’s not possible you could book a hotel room near your event and stay overnight.
If you must drive, consider heading to your destination early to avoid traffic and do the same when you return home by leaving as early as possible. Drunk and drugged driving are a reality so it helps to avoid driving late at night or in the early morning hours. However, there are often DUI drivers at all times of the day so be aware of other motorists around you.
Our freeways in California are known for deadly wrong-way or head-on driver collisions that often happen in the HOV or fast lanes. The safest lane is the number 3 lane, according to the California Highway Patrol. Also, leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you, stick to the speed limit and avoid making too many lane changes.
Intersection collisions are some of the deadliest. Take extra precautions by pausing for a few seconds before entering one after the light turns green. Motorists will often run through a red light when they are drinking or in a hurry. Take a quick look to the left and right before you move into the intersection to make sure others are stopped.
Finally, you never want to start driving without buckling up and wearing a seat belt. Indeed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that people seated in the front of a passenger car that use seat belts, reduce the risk of death by 45 percent and moderate to critical injuries by 50 percent.
New Year’s Eve 2024:
Head to Downtown LA’s Grand Park for a huge party on December 31st. The best part of this event is it is free! The New Year’s Eve party includes live music and DJs, as well as numerous food trucks and a countdown at midnight that will be projected onto City Hall.
The fireworks show over the San Francisco Bay is a popular even for Northern California residents and visitors. he display typically begins at midnight and lasts roughly 15 to 20 minutes. Arrive early for the best seating along the waterfront between the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.
Parents may want to celebrate with their children at Legoland California in Carlsbad, Disneyland in Anaheim or Universal Studios in Studio City. Amusement parks typically provide a fireworks show on New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Day 2024 in Pasadena
Most people have seen the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena on television every New Year’s Day, but it’s also worth seeing in person with thousands of others who line the 5.5-mile parade route. Everything from floral floats and marching bands to equestrians and live shows. If you can’t make it to the parade, head over afterwards to view the parade floats. Find out more here.
Johnson Attorneys Group hopes this information is timely and helpful. Our personal injury law firm has been helping clients recover losses for nearly two decades. If you have legal questions or would like Attorney James Johnson to review your potential case, please call 1-(855) 703-4186 as soon as possible. Our personal injury law firm is a proud, longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
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