How to Stay Safe From Drunk Drivers Around New Year’s Eve
According to the National Safety Council, 40% of all fatal crashes between December 25 and January 1 involve drunk drivers. This is something that motorists in Florida must be aware of. Even if you responsibly decide to get a ride home after a few too many, there is no guarantee that other intoxicated drivers will do the same. Whether you are on your way to a family event in the middle of the day or you are driving home from your parents’ late into the night, drunk drivers can strike at any moment. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from drunk drivers as we approach New Year’s Even in Florida:
Consider Sleeping the Night
The first strategy is probably the simplest: Just do not drive. Whether you have been drinking or not, it often makes sense to avoid roads entirely on New Year’s Eve. If you can, crash at a friend’s house – or at a family member’s home. Sleeping on the couch for one night usually is not that big of a deal, and it might be much safer than braving the roads on such a statistically dangerous night. Although sleeping over is not always possible, New Year’s is perhaps the one night when you should cave in and wait for the morning.
Consider the Scenic Route
You might also consider a more scenic route – ideally one that does not involve driving. If you can, try walking or biking home through a trail or designated walking path. This completely eliminates the threat of drunk drivers for the most part – especially if you choose routes with no crosswalks over busy roads. Florida is blessed with warm weather – even in winter. This means that walking home at night shouldn’t be much of an inconvenience – and you might even see a beautiful starry night! If you are concerned about your safety in certain neighborhoods, consider walking alongside a friend – and make sure your phone is charged before you set off. This is a better alternative than driving while under the influence, but even sober there is still the risk that a drunk driver veers off the road. It is important to still stay alert if you choose the walking or biking route.
Another option might be to choose a more rural, time-consuming driving route as opposed to a main road. Be aware, however, that drunk drivers often specifically choose side roads in an effort to escape attention from law enforcement. Often, the main roads are actually the safest, as police presence is stronger on these streets.
Practice Defensive Driving
On New Year’s Eve, it is important to practice “defensive driving.” Essentially, this involves being much more observant – and automatically assuming that all drivers on the road are intoxicated. Give them plenty of space, and expect the unexpected. Just because someone is indicating a right-hand turn, this does not mean that they will actually move in the expected direction. If someone is driving aggressively, back off and let them pass.
Scan Intersections Like Your Life Depends on It
Even if you have the right of way, it is important to scan intersections carefully on New Year’s Eve. Although you might have a green light, someone could come out of nowhere, run a red light, and strike you at full speed. Scan both directions and slow down slightly when approaching an intersection. This danger is even more pronounced when you approach four-way stops.
Get Home Early if You Can
It also makes sense to get home before nightfall if at all possible. Statistically speaking, the majority of drunk drivers come out at night. You might decide to have an early New Year’s Eve celebration without the countdown. Or, at the very least, reach your destination before it starts getting dark – and plan to stay there until morning.
Choose Routes With Police Checkpoints
If you become aware that certain routes will have police checkpoints, you might want to choose these routes when heading home on New Year’s Eve. Drunk drivers may attempt to avoid these routes, which means that they instantly become safer for everyone else. While these checkpoints are not always announced ahead of time, they can help save lives. If you are passing through a police checkpoint, remember to follow directions and be polite. You might also consider offering a word of thanks as you pass through.
In Need of a Criminal Law Attorney?
Law Office of Denise Miller, PA. is a criminal law firm based in Stuart Florida who can assist you if you are in need of a criminal law attorney. While at the Law Office of Denise Miller, PA does not condone driving while under the influence, we can help you fight for lesser penalties. Call us today to set up an initial consultation.