At midnight, when the ball drops, don’t drop the ball on safety. Ring in the New Year with sensible strategies that will keep you and your loved ones safe, while still enjoying the fun and festivities. You can easily start the year off on the right foot by avoiding injuries to yourself and others during this potentially dangerous holiday.
Don’t Drink and Drive, Watch for Drunk Drivers
It’s not uncommon to enjoy a glass of bubbly on New Year’s Eve, but many spirited party goers may have one too many. Drunk driving is a common crime on New Year’s Eve that leaves many drivers and pedestrians in jeopardy. Stories of inebriated people getting behind the wheel despite their best judgment create a dangerous situation for everyone involved.
If you see a car on the road that appears to be swerving or behaving in an erratic fashion, give them plenty of space and notify the police. Your call may prevent a car accident and even save someone’s life.
Everyone has a different tolerance for alcohol. As a best practice, it’s a good idea to choose a designated driver beforehand who is willing to abstain from any alcoholic drinks to get their friends or family home safely. If you suspect you may be past the legal limit, do not attempt to drive. If a designated driver is unavailable, call a taxi or use a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft to prevent putting your life and other lives at risk.
It’s not only drivers who encounter dangers on New Year’s Eve. Pedestrians are the target of many possible accidents, such as getting hit by cars, slipping and falling, and street theft. Wear bright or colorful clothing to stay visible to vehicles, and don’t cross the street unless you’re at a crosswalk.
Inebriated pedestrians are most likely to take a tumble and sustain an injury by losing their balance while walking. Drunk pedestrians are also the most likely to be seen as an easy target for theft. Carrying pepper spray on a keychain may give you added protection in case of an assault. Don’t walk alone, stay alert, and always try to walk in safe areas.
If you’re hit by a driver, first check for any injuries, then call the police to file a report. In the event you do sustain any injuries, it’s highly recommended to contact a personal injury lawyer to consult you on the next steps. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Brian D. Guralnick can explain your legal rights and discuss any options you might have.
Fireworks, Not Fire
Firework accidents are responsible for many injuries each year. Occasionally, fireworks can tip over after being lit, which causes them to fly at high speeds in unexpected directions. Even properly lit fireworks have the possibility of exploding too quickly or creating fires. Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose nearby in case of a fire emergency.
Keep an eye on children and teenagers around fireworks. Teens often like to test the limits or impress their friends by engaging in dangerous firework stunts. In case of an injury, the responsible parent is likely liable for any damages to their own children or others. Coach children and teens beforehand about the dangers of fireworks and ways to handle them safely.
Don’t Use Guns
In some places, shooting bullets into the sky at midnight is a tradition. Even if you have a gun license and practice gun safety, this is an unnecessary risk. Using firearms at night, around large groups of people, or while drinking is never a good idea. Keep guns in a designated safe and find a more responsible way to celebrate.
Using firearms unnecessarily is also a risky way to subject yourself to a possible lawsuit. Stray bullets, mishandled firearms, or children finding guns are scenarios that could land a gun owner in jail, the hospital, or worse. Leaning toward caution is a way to avoid a New Year’s gun catastrophe.
Don’t Leave Your Car Overnight
If possible, plan ahead to catch a ride to where you’ll be celebrating. People who leave their cars overnight on the street leave their vehicles more open to theft or damage. If you must, try to keep your vehicle on a street that appears to be safe under a street light or in a well-lit area.
Fully Charge Your Phone
You never know when an emergency might occur. The worst-case scenario is not being able to contact anyone for help due to a dead cell phone battery. Charge your phone to the fullest capacity so you can snap your midnight photos while still having enough power left over in case you need to make an important call. This is also vital when you expect to be able to call a cab or use your phone apps to contact a ridesharing service.
If you have been injured in a New Year’s Eve accident in Palm Beach County, I encourage you to contact Brian D. Guralnick personally to discuss your legal rights. To learn how the injury team at Brian D. Guralnick Injury Lawyers can help you Demand More® for your injuries, call (561) 983-4395 now.