This weekend, many Hoosiers will celebrate the arrival of 2018 with dinners, parties, and other fun activities with friends and family. But getting to and from these New Year’s Eve events can be tricky. Whether there’s more snow on the road or more alcohol in your system, it can be dangerous to navigate Indiana roads after midnight on January 1. Here’s how to make sure you end 2017 right and get home safely.
1. Decide Your New Year’s Eve Plans In Advance
Are you someone who prefers to stay at home and watch the ball drop in Times Square on television? Would you rather party all night or go out for a nice meal with a few close friends? There are a lot of fun options when you’re deciding how you’re going to ring in the new year. Settling on plans in advance will make it easier to figure out if and when you’ll need transportation, and what kind. It may be easy to ask a friend to drive you home if you’re just going out for dinner, but you may need to use a ridesharing service if you and your friends are all going to participate in a bar crawl.
It’s also important to plan ahead even if you’re hosting the party at your house. Make sure your friends and family all have plans to get home safely, or else make sure you have enough room in your house to host all of your guests for the night.
Keep in mind as well that New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday this year, which means you can’t go out and buy any alcohol for your party on the actual day of the event if you live in Indiana. Purchase your alcohol beforehand or else plan transportation to and from a bar, restaurant, or club if drinking is an integral part of your festivities.
2. Watch the Weather
Indiana weather is never predictable. Even if the forecast predicts clear skies on New Year’s Eve, keep an eye on the weather as the date gets closer. If it looks like the roads are going to be too dangerous on New Year’s Eve, make sure you have a backup plan. Ridesharing services will probably be busy on New Year’s Eve even if the roads are okay, so if you need to get somewhere urgently, make sure you have a designated driver.
If you’re driving and the weather is bad, increase your following distance and obey the speed limit. Accelerate and decelerate slowly, and use your fog lights if snowfall is heavy. If the weather is too bad for you to drive in, consider changing your plans and celebrating New Year’s Eve at home this year.
3. Have Multiple Plans to Get Home Safely
Let a roommate or family member know where you’re planning on going and when you plan on getting home. Bring an extra phone charger with you in case you get stuck somewhere and need someone to come pick you up.
If you’re the designated driver, take your role seriously and refrain from drinking. Many bars, restaurants, and clubs will offer you free food or free beverages for your sacrifice.
Even if your party has a designated driver, make sure you have a backup plan for how to get home. Decide which ridesharing service you feel comfortable with, and research any promotional codes you can use to drive the price down. It may be more expensive to use a ridesharing service due to the high demand on New Year’s Eve, but many companies run discounts for New Year’s Eve to combat drunk driving, so you may still be able to snag an affordable, safe ride home. Split the cost among your friends if price becomes a problem, or call that friend or family member who knows about your plans and ask them for a ride home.
Don’t forget public transportation, either. Most major cities have reduced or free service on New Year’s Eve and into the early hours of New Year’s Day.
4. Never Drink and Drive
No matter what, never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. There’s never a good enough reason to risk your life and the lives of others.
Let’s say you’re drinking and you’re not supposed to be. Maybe you’re underage or a recovering alcoholic or a person whose faith prohibits drinking. Don’t let fear or shame keep you from getting home safely. Call a friend or family member if you’re out of options. It’s better to get home safely and deal with the consequences later than to never get home at all.
If you’re going out with friends, make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to drunk driving. Decide before you even leave the house that no one is driving themselves home tonight. If you’re hosting a party, put people’s keys in a safe place so people can’t try to drive home drunk. It’s better to have a friend angrily stay the night or use a ridesharing service than to let a friend drive while intoxicated.
Help from an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer
We hope you have a safe and happy start to your new year. However, even if you take every precaution, you can’t protect yourself completely from other drivers on the road. Someone else’s reckless decision to drive while drunk could result in a car accident that leaves you injured and wondering how you’re going to pay for your medical bills. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, Hensley Legal Group can help. Call us today or contact us online. Your first consultation is on us.