This weekend, millions of people will ring in the New Year with friends, family, and loved ones. However, amidst all the festivities, toasts, and celebrating, safety can quickly take a backseat to a good time – especially when alcohol is added to the mix.
Due to an increase in drunk driving, New Years Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which reports that 10,839 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2009.
Whether you’re planning to stand in Times Square to see the ball drop or you’re celebrating by throwing a party for friends, your Trusted Choice independent insurance agent want to ensure you usher in 2012 safely. Don’t let your New Year’s celebration turn tragic, follow these safety tips to ring in the New Year responsibly.
1. Leave your keys at home. If you’re planning to raise a glass and toast the New Year, do not drink and drive. Choose a designated driver (many states also offer DD services), take public transportation, walk, or call a taxi. Whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. When you get behind the wheel intoxicated, you’re not only endangering yourself and your passengers, you’re putting others on the road in danger.
2. Be a responsible host. If you’re throwing a New Year’s Eve party, select a designated driver and call a local cab company to provide rides for your guests. You should also stop serving alcohol to guests a couple hours before the party ends, so that guest can sober up. If your party includes underage guests, consider using two different types of cups or different colors in order to distinguish alcoholic beverages from non-alcoholic. If someone underage is caught drinking at your party, as the host you are responsible and could face charges. (You can also read more about social host liability here.)
3. Don’t walk alone. If you choose to walk home from a New Year’s celebration, take a friend with you. Walking alone makes you a target for robbers and other attackers. You should also avoid areas that aren’t well lit or places with little or no foot traffic.
4. Be discrete. If you’re not going to be home on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day, make sure your home is secure by locking all doors and windows, turning on automatic light timers, and arming your security. You also shouldn’t advertise your absence by posting notifications about your departure on Twitter, Facebook, or other social media sites.
5. Watch your drink. Never leave your glass or cup unattended. Putting down a drink – even for a minute – gives partygoers with ill intentions a chance to slip something in it. If you need to go to the restroom or step outside, hand your drink to a trusted friend.
If you have any insurance-related questions about your New Year’s celebration or plans, your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent is happy to assist you. Trusted Choice would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2012, and we look forward to serving you in the coming year.