New Year’s Eve ranks as one of the most dangerous holidays to be on the road, beat out only by the Fourth of July. If you plan on driving on New Year’s Eve or the early hours of New Year’s Day, you should familiarize yourself with the risks you may face and steps you can take to keep yourself safe.

Dangers of Being on the Road on New Year’s Eve

It may come as no surprise that the biggest risk in driving on New Year’s Eve is drinking and driving. Many people choose to consume alcohol throughout much of the afternoon and evening of New Year’s Eve, right through and past the ball drop at midnight. Even if you refrain from alcohol before getting behind the wheel, not every driver will be as cautious as you. Traffic can also be unusually heavy throughout much of the evening and shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve, as people travel to and go home from parties. 

In many parts of the country, it also gets dark very early in the evening, sometimes as early as 4 pm. The Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest regions also have to deal with hazardous road conditions due to winter weather around the New Year’s Eve holiday.

Read more: Too Much Celebration Before Driving Is A Voluntary Choice

Staying Safe on the Roads for the Holiday

Even though other drivers may negligently get on the road on New Year’s Eve, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself and reduce your risk of getting into a car accident:

  • If you are going to a New Year’s Eve party where alcohol will be served, make sure you have a plan to get home safely. If going with a group, choose someone to be a designated driver. 
  • Alternatively, you can hire a livery vehicle or call a taxi or rideshare vehicle to get you to and from your party. 
  • If you live in a city, public transit may also be an option. 
  • If your party is at someone’s house, you can also make arrangements to sleep over and drive home the following day

If you are planning on driving on New Year’s Eve, you may also want to confirm the weather and road conditions before leaving for your destination. It’s probably not worth it to drive in a blizzard or winter storm, especially with other motorists who may be tired or intoxicated.

Read more: Do You Have Delayed Onset Injuries From A Car Accident?

What to Do If You Get into an Accident on New Year’s Eve

If you do end up in a car accident on New Year’s Eve, remember to take the following steps:

  • If you or someone else has been visibly injured or appears to be in distress, call 911 to summon emergency medical assistance
  • If nobody’s been seriously hurt, you should still call the local police department (or the State Police if you get into an accident on the highway). An officer will come to the scene to prepare a police accident report, which you will very likely need if you want to file an insurance claim for the accident
  • Get the name, contact information, vehicle information, and insurance information from each driver involved in the accident.
  • Get the names and contact information for any bystanders who may have witnessed the accident, in case you later need them to provide a statement

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled personal injury lawyers at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Englewood, Fair Lawn, Fort Lee, Garfield, and throughout New Jersey. Call 201-231-7847 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.