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7 New Year's Eve safety tips to prevent drinking and driving car accidents

Michigan injury lawyer gives a list on how to stay safe

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner. As always, I’d like to share more tips – from myself and the other injury lawyers at Michigan Auto Law – to help keep all of you safe this new year.

Here’s the shocking news: this year, 10,839 people will die in drunk-driving crashes, according to MADD. That’s one person killed every 50 minutes and almost double the number of Americans who have died in the entire war in Iraq. And when it comes to drinking and driving, New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous times for drinking and driving crashes.

Remember, buzzed driving is also drunk driving. If we can educate people that buzzed driving is also unacceptable and will also cause car accidents, we are saving lives.
With that, here’s my list of 7 New Year’s Eve safety tips:

1. Have a designated driver: Do not ever drink and drive. Ask a friend or a family member for a ride, or make a reservation for a taxi.

2. Monitor your alcohol intake: Many people associate New Year’s Eve celebrations with drinking. Be aware of how much you are drinking. Make sure you stay hydrated (with water) and that you eat enough.

3. Take the keys: If you have a friend who is too drunk to drive, take the keys. Get your friend a ride home with a trusted sober driver, or call his or her family for a ride.

4. Stick together: Going to parties, bars and dance clubs can be hectic, and with too much alcohol, some people lose control. Traveling in groups creates a safety net.

5. Stay off the roads: Drinking and driving car accidents are highest between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., so try and stay off the roads during those hours.

6. Drive defensively: If you must drive, be aware of your surroundings, drive defensively and call the police if you see anything illegal or suspicious taking place. As always, wear your seat belt and don’t drive distracted.

7. If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party, adhere to the following safety suggestions:

o Have a ride for your guests: Contact a local cab company so your guests can have rides.

o Juice, soda, water: Also serve non-alcoholic beverages for your guests. Have lots of water on hand.

o Plenty of food: Make sure you have enough food on hand so your guests can have something on their stomachs beside alcohol.

o Stop serving: Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends.

o Sleep over: Let your guests stay the night if they wish to stay off the roads.

Happy early New Year, everyone. Please, consider the suggestions from our injury lawyers this year and always remember to never drink and drive! Let’s all look out for each other and have a great 2012.

Steve Gursten is one of the nation’s top injury lawyers. He is head of Michigan Auto Law and president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association. Steve has received the highest verdict in the state for a car accident or truck accident victim in 2008, 2009 and 2010, according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He frequently writes about drivers safety and is available for comment.

Related information to protect yourselves:

Michigan safe driving tips

I’ve been in a car accident, now what?

Michigan drunk driving law targets “drunker drivers”

Michigan Auto Law is the largest law firm exclusively handling car accident, truck accident and motorcycle accident cases throughout the entire state. We have offices in Farmington Hills, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Sterling Heights to better serve you. Call (800) 777-0028 for help from a Michigan injury lawyer.

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