Many people gather on New Year’s Eve to remember the year gone by and to ring in the new year. There is nothing wrong with celebrating, but if you do, make sure to have the best and most affordable car insurance in Georgia and be mindful of certain safety tips so you’ll be around to enjoy the next year and many years to come.
New Year’s Eve is One of the Deadliest Days for Driving in Georgia
Once the parties start to wrap up after midnight, revelers hit the road to head home, which can turn dangerous if they’ve had too much alcohol. New Year’s Eve is one of the deadliest days on the roads.
During the 2018 New Year’s holiday travel period (102 hours), Georgia Department of Public Safety troopers investigated 550 crashes that resulted in 223 injuries and 7 fatalities.
In the U.S., the National Safety Council (NSC) estimated that there may be roughly 384 traffic fatalities during the 2021 New Year’s Day holiday period. Data from the American Safety Council figures that over 50% of New Year’s Day traffic accidents involve drunk drivers.
It only takes about four drinks to be over the limit
Your blood alcohol content (BAC) increases by about 0.02% with each drink you consume, so it only takes about four or five drinks to put your BAC over the legal limit of 0.08%. Other factors such as the time frame in which you consume the beverages, and even your body composition, can impact how drunk you get.
Getting in a car accident that results in injuries or death is the worst-case scenario of what could go wrong if you don’t consider your safety when celebrating New Year’s Eve. But getting arrested for driving under the influence is also a bad way to break up the festivities and ring in the New Year.
In Georgia, driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more could result in fines up to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license, and even jail time of 10 days to 12 months for a first offense. The penalties can be even worse if you don’t have at least the minimum liability insurance required by Georgia state law.
Here’s How to Ensure a Safe New Year’s Eve
If you decide to go out to celebrate New Year’s Eve, here are some tips for having a fun and safe night:
Pick a designated driver
If you’re going to a New Year’s Eve party with others, before you head out, decide who is willing to be the designated driver for the night. As the designated driver, you aren’t completely restricted from having a drink, but you should limit your alcohol consumption to only about two drinks, if any.
Celebrating the coming of a new year with friends can be great fun, but overdoing it by drinking too much can ruin a good time. Even if you aren’t the designated driver, you should pace yourself on how much alcohol you consume. Nobody wants to ring in the New Year from a hospital bed.
Have a Plan B for getting home
Ensure that you have alternative transportation to get home if you or the designated driver in your party has too much to drink. Taxi services like Uber and Lyft are great options for transportation. Just be aware that they will be busy on New Year’s Eve, so plan accordingly.
Protect yourself with quality car insurance
If you do have to drive on New Year’s Eve, make sure you have the best car insurance you can get for your budget to protect you and your pocketbook if you should get into an accident. Under state law, Georgians are required to carry at least liability insurance to pay for any damage or injury you may cause another driver in an accident.
Secure your vehicle
New Year’s Eve is a popular time for car thefts. If you decide to take an alternative form of transportation to get home and leave your vehicle somewhere overnight, make sure you leave it in a well-lit area. Lock the doors, roll up all the windows, and put all valuables out of sight to help prevent someone from breaking into it.
Stay in a hotel for the night
Why even take the risks of driving home if the New Year’s Eve party you attend is in or near a hotel? Make arrangements to spend the night so you don’t have to worry about driving. Many hotels that host year-end celebrations offer room specials so you can really make a night of it and then drive home safely in the morning.
Plan for your guests’ safety
If you decide to host a New Year’s Eve party, consider the safety of your guests when planning. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also may help prevent you from being sued if one of your guests gets into an accident after leaving your party,
Under Georgia’s Dram Shop Act, a person who sells, furnishes, or serves alcoholic beverages to someone who is already intoxicated may be liable for injuries or damages caused by the intoxicated person. This is also known as “social liability.” In essence, it means that as the host of a party you can be sued for liability if one of your guests leaves the party intoxicated and gets into an accident that causes property damage, injury, or death.
As the party host, here are a few things you can do to ensure the safety of your guests:
- Provide a place for guests to stay if they need to
- Provide transportation alternatives, like a cab service or designated driver
- Serve plenty of food so your guests aren’t drinking on empty stomachs, which can increase the effects of alcohol
- Stop serving alcohol several hours before the party ends
Have a happy, and Safe, New Year in Georgia!
Celebrating the coming of a new year and the ending of the old on New Year’s Eve is one of the most enjoyable holidays of the year. There is nothing better than gathering with friends to cheer new beginnings and talk about your resolutions for the upcoming year. A car accident could ruin the fun and your hopes for a bright future. So before you leave your home to revel in the festivities, make sure you have a plan to enjoy the holiday in a safe and memorable way.