People in Michigan celebrate New Year’s Eve just like everyone else – with parties and dinners and drinks to toast the turning of the calendar. Unlike many parts of the country, however, Michigan is unique for its relentless winter climate. Combining the perils of NYE drinking and revelry with snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can lead to fatal car accidents.
Bad Weather and Bad Habits Can Be a Fatal Combination
Michigan is no stranger to bad weather. New Year’s Eve can sometimes be one of the worst nights of the year for low temps, precipitation, and freezing in this part of the country. While the last thing you may want to do is cancel or rearrange your New Year’s plans because of inconvenient weather conditions, this is sometimes the safest thing you can do. Putting yourself out in the elements because you don’t want to miss a get-together or big party is a major risk.
You may think that you can just go out for a little bit and get home before any bad weather strikes, but braving newly developing winter weather conditions while intoxicated is still dangerous. Any amount of intoxication can create a horrific result. Combine drunk driving with distracted driving and the likelihood of a fatal crash rises exponentially.
Ways to Guard Against a NYE Car Accident
If you simply cannot imagine New Year’s Eve without a celebratory drink or two, plan to protect yourself from any possibility of a car crash:
- Designate a driver: The least intoxicated member of your party is not the safest driver in the group. The only safe driver is a sober driver, so determine ahead of any partying who will be the one to hold the keys for the night and get behind the wheel once it’s time to go.
- Sleep where you are: If you don’t have a designated driver and you don’t want to call for a ride and you’re at a place where you can crash for the night, then stay there. It’s better to sleep off your buzz than attempt to drive.
- Take a free ride: Every New Year’s Eve, there are good Samaritans who make it possible for intoxicated partygoers to take a free cab ride to get home safely. Do the research and program these numbers into your phone so you won’t be tempted to try to drive yourself.
- Leave the car at home: If you know you’ll attempt to make it home on your own, don’t even give yourself the option. Take an Uber to your destination and take another back home. The driver will appreciate the fare on such a busy night, and you can book a ride right now to ensure that there’s a ride coming for you in the wee hours of January 1.
- Be a good host: If you’re the one throwing the shindig on New Year’s Eve, make it part of your party planning to confirm that every person on your guest list will have a safe way to get back to where they want to be at the end of the night. Designate sober drivers to shuttle people to and fro, call cabs, help guests book rooms at a nearby hotel, or be prepared to have people camp out on your floor for the night.
Move Safely Into the New Year
As always, you can control how you behave but you cannot control how others behave behind the wheel. There will be drunk drivers riding alongside you, and they will be distracted, drowsy, and facing the elements just like every other motorist. If you find yourself in a Michigan car accident on New Year’s Eve or anytime, contact Michigan personal injury attorney David C. Femminineo in Macomb County to schedule your consultation.