It can be a fun time, but it can also be a dangerous time.
The National Safety Council estimates there will be between 124 and 194 deaths nationwide during the holiday, which the council considers to be from 6 p.m.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013, to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, January 1, 2014 (1.25 days). The average number of traffic fatalities for the New Year’s Day holiday period is about 70% higher than non-holiday time periods.
The estimated fatality total for this year is 17% less than the average fatalities (187) that occurred during the previous four 1.25-day New Year’s Day holiday periods, according to the National Safety Council estimates.
The most dangerous time for drunken driving accidents is after midnight when the new year officially begins. It’s the worst day of the year for fatal accidents involving drunk drivers. Half the fatal crashes on New Year’s Day involve a drunk driver, according to a New York Times car blog.
It may seem obvious but the best way to avoid drunk-driving accidents is by not drinking and driving. If you are not able to drive, find someone else. If you see a friend has had too much to drink, take their keys and don’t let them drive. Some ways to avoid it are to have a designated driver, use a cab or call a friend for a ride. The National Safety Council provides more drunken driving safety facts and tips.
New Year’s Day is also a dangerous time for pedestrians with an average of 22 deaths each year. Read tips on pedestrian safety.