By Adam W. Pittman on December 9, 2021
The holiday season is here. While the COVID-19 pandemic is unfortunately ongoing, ringing in the New Year through celebration remains important as we look toward a brighter, better 2023.
Naturally, there are potential dangers that come with such year-end celebrations. New Year’s Eve is a night that attracts large groups of people along with distractions and hazards.
Some of those distractions and hazards can include:
- Increased Alcohol Usage
- Impaired and Distracted Driving
- Extreme Weather
- Fireworks Safety
- Pet Safety
While there’s no harm in responsibly enjoying a couple drinks to celebrate the end of one chapter and mark the beginning of the next – it’s important to remember the following:
- Alcohol should only be consumed in moderation. Doing so will minimize health risks and harm to yourself or others.
- Stay hydrated. With every drink, it’s recommended to have a glass of water.
- Know your limits and listen to your body. If you start to feel sick, or if you sense yourself losing control of your behavior, it’s time to stop.
Impaired and Distracted Driving
Motor vehicle accidents are the third-leading cause of death across the country, with 24% of those accidents involving a drunk driver. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 400 people are tragically killed on U.S. roadways on New Year’s Eve.
- Have a designated driver. This is the simplest way to prevent unnecessary accidents on the road.
- Have a backup plan if you don’t have a designated driver. Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft provide convenience and increased safety that wasn’t available until recent years, so take advantage of them. Choosing a designated driver through a rideshare app can save a life.
- Always stay attentive and aware when behind the wheel. People at the other end of distracted driving and drunk driving accidents can’t control the actions of others. So even if you haven’t had a sip of alcohol, the best thing you can do is to pay attention to your surroundings when driving on New Year’s Eve.
- Put the phone down – that text or call can wait. Especially with more people out and about on New Year’s Eve, it’s critical to keep your eyes on the road.
New Year’s Eve can bring dangerously cold temperatures for many across the country, even here in the Southeast . For example, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes with a wind chill of 20 degrees or colder. Depending on where you live, snow and ice can be additional hazards. Here are things to remember as you gear up to head out the door:
- Layer up. This is the best thing you can do to stay warm. Make sure you have a warm, protective outer layer and that you’re wearing gloves, heavy socks, and a stocking cap if necessary. Always protect your extremities first.
- In snowy or icy conditions, keep your eyes in front of you to avoid a slip and fall accident.
- If conditions are snowy or icy, strongly consider staying off the roadways. If you must drive, operate below the speed limit and keep extra distance between your car and the car in front of you.
New Year’s Eve often brings a noisy element – fireworks. While the visuals are appealing, year after year our personal injury attorneys see accidents involving fireworks that were preventable. Always remember the following:
- Know your state’s fireworks laws. In some states, they remain illegal for personal use. If that is the case for you, refrain from using fireworks and let someone else put on a show.
- If you are going to legally use fireworks, stay as far back as possible.
- Keep children safely out of harm’s way. If something does go wrong, the farther they are from immediate danger the better.
- Never light fireworks indoors.
- Never point fireworks at anyone or anywhere other than straight up toward the sky.
- Keep fireworks away from flammable material, even before opening, andalways handle them carefully.
- Light one firework device at a time.
Some of these other risk factors can affect pets, too. Keep these safety tips in mind for your furry friend(s):
- Animals – especially dogs – are more sensitive to loud, harsh noises than humans. If you have pets at home or in your neighborhood, it might be best to avoid fireworks altogether. Fireworks can trigger severe anxiety or erratic behavior in animals.
- As mentioned, New Year’s Eve falls in the heart of winter. If temperatures are cold, protect your pets by keeping them indoors.
- There may be hazards and debris on the ground during, or after, a New Year’s Eve celebration. When walking your dog, keep your eyes peeled to avoid remnants of glass or fireworks on the ground. This especially pertains to those living in or around metropolitan areas.
With these safety measures in mind, Cory Watson Attorneys wishes you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season and a prosperous new year.
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Cory Watson Attorneys is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm with offices in Birmingham, Alabama as well as Memphis, and Nashville, Tennessee. The firm has recovered more than $3 billion for clients across the country. Cory Watson Attorneys are frequently at the forefront of major class actions and multidistrict litigations involving product liability related to serious injuries from defective products and are often appointed to leadership positions in national cases. Firm practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Class Action, Asbestos, Business & Commercial Litigation, Dangerous Pharmaceuticals, Defective Medical Devices, and Environmental/Toxic Torts.