Tips for staying safe for St. Patrick’s Day
Our experts sat down with Accident Attorney, James Bergener at Sweet James to get the four most important tips to stay safe and be prepared this holiday and through the weekend.
As tradition tells, Saint Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate and, with about 32 million Americans claiming Irish heritage, according to the American Community Survey, you may want to join in the fun. If part of that fun includes drinking, it’s important to plan for a safe time.
So, beyond the safety precautions that are likely baked into your routine by now — masking up, distancing, socializing outside when possible, and celebrating only with your bubble (no big parties this year!) — here are safety tips for driving after celebrating Ireland’s most famous patron saint.
Designate a driver
Perhaps you usually take turns between you and a significant other or roommate, or you simply ask for a volunteer. However you decide, choose a driver before revelries begin so you don’t get to a point in the evening when you say, “who’s the DD?” and no one can raise a hand.
No matter what, never get in the car with a driver who is drunk — no exceptions.
“While stopping DUI accidents are as simple as not driving after drinking, some selfish drivers think they are above the law,” according to attorney James Bergener at Sweet James.
What if no one wants to be the designated driver? No problem. Before you have a drink, download a ride service app or add the number for a local cab company to your phone.
Help friends get home safely
Whether you’re hosting a gathering or are a guest, confirm that the people you’re with have a plan for how to get home. In addition to designating a driver, this could mean checking that everyone has a ride, offering to share a lift, or arranging to ride the bus together.
If you’re hosting, ask guests who their designated driver is. You can also collect keys at the beginning of the evening and return them to sober drivers or offer to pay for rides home.
Serve food and non-alcoholic drinks
Speaking of hosting, let your creativity out by whipping up your favorite snacks or, if you prefer not to cook, order catering or takeout from a local restaurant.
As for drinks, add to the offerings by making your favorite mixed drinks sans alcohol. You can even use a non-alcoholic liquor if you want your mocktails to taste like cocktails. And, of course, always have plenty of water on hand.
Hopefully, you buckle your seat belt without thinking whenever you get in a car. If not, consider that wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers,” the NHTSA says. “Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.”
And don’t rely on just an airbag, either, as they are designed to work with seat belts, not instead of them.
“If you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal air bag,” the NHTSA says. “Such force could injure or even kill you.”
If you or a loved one has been harmed in a drunk driving accident, get a free accident report from Sweet James Accident attorneys.
Visit: SweetJames.com if you need help on your road to recovery, Sweet James can provide you with a free case evaluation and make sure you’re protected. You can also call 800-500-5200.