We’re planning to attend a New Year’s Eve party and I’m the designated driver, but how can I be safe knowing other people are drinking and driving?
Gary Jaffarian gives tips for driving (or not) on New Year’s Eve and staying safe on one of the most dangerous nights of the year on the roads.
Let me start this blog with wonderful statistics. When the 50 states are ranked from worst drivers to best, based on accidents and fatalities, I am happy to report that New England has the safest drivers in the nation. New Hampshire ranks #46, Massachusetts #47, Rhode Island #48 and Connecticut #50.
Now for the abysmal statistics:
• With an average of 140 deaths, New Year’s Day is the second most deadly day for drivers.
• January 1st is the day of the year with the highest percent of deaths related to alcohol.
• Number expected to be killed this New Year’s: 156 people in the nation.
• Compared to the average weekend night, the 12-hour window between 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 tends to have about 71% more crashes where alcohol or drugs are listed as a contributing factor.
But New Year’s Eve tends to be among the most dangerous nights to be on the road. Below are my tips for staying safe on New Year’s Eve:
• Keep a sharp eye out and drive defensively.
• Be prepared for driving in winter weather and have an emergency kit with you that includes water and a blanket.
• If you can, avoid the roads entirely by staying at your host’s home or stay at a hotel nearby.
• Use Uber or a taxi to get you to and from where you are going.
• Use public transportation, especially if you go into Boston for First Night. The “T” has extended hours on New Year’s Eve.
• Always wear your seatbelt.
• Don’t drink. If you are the designated driver, commit to yourself and your passengers you will refrain from alcohol or anything that will impair your ability to drive.
• If you are going to be drinking, pay attention to your consumption. Stay hydrated by alternating alcoholic drinks with water, juice, or soda.
• Eat. Alcohol typically enters the bloodstream quickly. However, the amount and type of food in your stomach can alter this pace: high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods can slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream. So, this is a good night to indulge in such foods.
• Be sure to have plenty of gas in the tank and if you have any concerns about your vehicle, have it serviced in advance. We are here to take care of you so you can avoid being out in the cold on New Year’s Eve or any other night of the year. Call or go online to book an appointment.
Thank you for your support this past year and over the years. As an independent, family run business now with the 4th generation as part of the team, we are grateful for the loyalty of our customers and the support of the greater community. We are committed to serving you and your needs and giving back to our local community to help make the world a better place.
Wishing you a very happy, healthy and safe New Year, and we look forward to serving you in 2017!