In addition to being a celebration of Irish culture and history, Saint Patrick’s Day has become notorious for its association with green beer, shots of Irish whiskey, and the accompanying drunkenness that creates a jubilant party atmosphere as well as an increased risk of car accidents on highways and roads. When March 17 rolls around each year, drivers must take these unfortunate traffic safety-related concerns into consideration.
Whether you are planning to celebrate with a few drinks or not, if you will be out and about, you should remember a few tips to help you keep safe among the green-wearing revelers, especially with regard to road safety.
Prevent the Dangers of Drunk Driving
Do not drink and drive. The risks and consequences of drinking and driving are not worth it. Do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. Instead make plans for a friend to serve as designated driver, have a responsible person come pick you up, call a taxi or ride-share service, plan out a public transit route, or rent a room near your party destination. Planning ahead for how you will safely end your evening is always in your best interests.
Do not let your friends drive under the influence. It should go without saying that you should not get into a car with an intoxicated driver, but you should take it one step further and keep that driver from making the terrible decision to drive while they are likely to become a danger to themselves and others. It may not be easy to take a friend’s car keys, but it may just save their life, or the life of someone else.
Keep Safe if You Must Drive
Serve as designated driver. One of the best ways to show your friends you care is to make sure they stay safe. When partying together, you can offer to get the whole crew home safely at the end of the night by staying sober and being the group’s designated driver.
Stay alert to driving dangers. Even if you are stone sober, other drivers may not be. Stay vigilant for drunk drivers who might be sharing the road. Drive defensively and steer clear of any vehicle you see swerving or driving erratically.
Buckle your seat belt. This is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself when you are traveling in a motor vehicle, whether you are the driver or a passenger. Wearing a seat belt is the best way to protect yourself from harm in the event of an accident. If you are the driver, insist that your passengers buckle up.
Watch out for pedestrians. In addition to protecting yourself and your passengers with sober driving, seat belts, and keeping an eye out for drunk drivers, you should also be on the lookout for pedestrians whose actions may create dangerous conditions. When large crowds of drunken people fill the streets after a parade or when the bars let out at the end of the night, drivers should pay special attention to the possibility of people entering the roadway unaware of the dangers. Absent the crowds, it is still possible for a solitary walker to stagger into oncoming traffic. Remain alert for these road users as well.
If You Throw a Party, Be Responsible
Be a responsible host. If you are hosting the party this Saint Patrick’s Day, be sure to make it easy for your guests to stay safe. It is important to note that if a guest from your party causes an accident after leaving your house drunk, you may be held liable for the damages suffered by anyone hurt in the collision.
Serve more than drinks. Serving food can head off some of the inebriating effects of alcohol on your party guests. Drinking on an empty stomach increases the intoxicating properties of liquor, beer, and other alcoholic drinks. Serving non-alcoholic options also helps.
Cut guests off as needed. Stop serving alcohol to anyone who has had too much already. As the night winds down, put the booze away and offer only coffee, soft drinks, or water. This can allow people some time to sober up, but be advised that this process takes longer than you may think.
Enlist a sober driver. When the party ends, offer to get your guests home safely by way of a designated driver or by calling a cab or ride service to deliver them safely to their front door. If you have to keep someone from driving, you may have to get creative to convince them to go along. Agree to bring their car to them in the morning or make other arrangements to get them to comply.
Provide accommodations for tipsy guests. If you must take a guest’s keys, you should either get them home safely or offer them a place to sleep it off. Letting them crash on your couch can ensure that they are not putting themselves or anyone else in danger by attempting to drive home when they are in no condition to be in the driver’s seat.
Although it is unfortunate that drunk driving concerns have become a part of a celebration that started out as a way to recognize Irish heritage and culture, it is imperative that drivers recognize the dangers that have become a reality surrounding the holiday. As you mark the occasion with friends and fun, make sure you also recognize that planning for safety is the most important way to show those you love that you care.
Middletown Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Help Clients Injured by Impaired Drivers
St. Patrick’s Day can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the day brings an uptick in drunk drivers. If you were in an accident caused by an impaired motorist, reach out to the Middletown car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova. Our experienced legal team can help you understand your rights and help you recover the damages for which you are entitled. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Ocean County, Sussex County, Neptune, Middlesex County, and Pennsylvania.