According to a new fatal pedestrian accident study published by Hill Law Firm, New Year’s Day is the most dangerous holiday for pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents increased by 49% compared to the two weeks surrounding the holiday. If you are planning on driving or out celebrating the new year, it is important to be responsible and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety as well as others around you. 

Have a Designated Driver

After midnight on New Year’s Eve, celebrations tend to end and many decide to drive or take public transportation to get home. The National Safety Council (NCS) estimates that 384 people may die this year in the United States during the New Year’s holiday. Make sure to plan your travel options ahead of time and organize for a hotel stay, designated driver, rideshare service, or form of public transportation before heading out to celebrate. 

Stay Alert While Walking

Because New Year’s Day is the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrians, it is important to stay alert while walking. Do not ignore traffic lights and crosswalks, and be on the lookout for impaired drivers. The most dangerous times on New Year’s Day are between 1:00am – 3:00am. If you are driving or walking during this time, it is important to be on high alert. 

Driving Safety Tips

If you are appointed the designated driver, here are some tips when driving during the New Years holiday:

  • Plan your trip – If you are driving your fellow friends around, decide what time is the best to leave and what roads to take. Try to avoid heavy traffic and high-speed areas. 
  • Follow the speed limit – Just as you would regularly, follow all speed limit signs and traffic signals. Government officials will be on high alert during the holiday, so it is important to continue following the laws of the road. 
  • Wear your seat belt – Make sure you and those in your vehicle are wearing their seat belts (and wearing them correctly). 
  • Take extra precautions – Make sure to keep enough distance between you and other vehicles in case the vehicle in front of you makes any sudden movements. Always check blind spots when changing lanes and keep an eye out for pedestrians and other vehicles that could be around you. 
  • Don’t drink and drive – Never drink and drive. If you do drink, make sure to call an Uber or Lyft to get you and your friends home safely. 
  • Put down your cell phone – Never use your cell phone while driving,as it increases your chance of getting in an accident by 400 percent. 
  • Report drunk drivers – If you believe someone is operating a vehicle under the influence, call 911 immediately. Reporting drunk drivers could help save lives. 

Have an At-home Gathering

If you aren’t wanting to go out on New Year’s Eve, and are still minimizing your risk of getting COVID-19, have a small gathering at home. Keep up to date on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website on holiday safety information. If you decide to host a party, you will want to make sure your guests get home safely. Have a plan to host your guests overnight, or provide another way of transportation to get your guests home safely. 

Stay Safe This New Years Holiday

With 2022 right around the corner, make sure to take the following precautions before celebrating the new year. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday season.