Whether you are Irish by birth or an honorary Irishman once a year, St. Patrick’s Day can be a day filled with fun and merriment for you and your friends.
It’s also one of the more eventful days for car accidents and unless you plan ahead for a safe holiday, you may be one of many people injured and in need of the assistance of a personal injury lawyer.
Though drunk driving itself is a huge issue, attorneys who help clients with injuries received in a car accident on that date point out that accident rates increase substantially on holidays like St. Patrick’s Day.
In 2018, there were 73 DWI-related deaths on St. Patrick’s Day, a number that equates to 39% of all fatalities in all types of auto accidents on that day.1
These numbers also show that 33% of all pedestrian fatalities and 62% of all fatalities including a drunk driver happened on St. Patrick’s Day.
Rather than becoming one of the statistics, safety advocates and auto accident lawyers offer these five helpful tips to make sure you get your Irish food and drink on this year without endangering yourself or anyone else.
1. Use Public Transportation
If it’s available where you live, public transportation is your safest and least expensive option to go party with your friends and still make it home all right.
Check the route schedules ahead of time and plan out your travel, then take the bus or train home; you won’t have to worry about parking either!
2. Use A Rideshare or Call A Taxi
Many cities now offer rideshares like Uber and Lyft these days and taxis are also available in most cities.
Whichever you use, personal injury lawyers suggest letting someone else do the driving.
Using these methods, you can get home safely after drinking that green beer this St. Paddy’s Day with your friends and won't have to deal with the hassle or expense of parking.
3. Volunteer to Be the Designated Driver
Getting tipsy is part of the fun on St. Patrick’s Day; however, without a safe way home after the party, car accident attorneys warn that the results could be devastating.
If you opt for non-alcoholic brew this year and volunteer to be the designated driver, enjoy the peace of mind you'll have knowing that you and your friends returned home safely.
If you go out with the same group each year, suggest that all of you take turns being the designated driver to share the responsibility of being certain everyone can make it to next year's celebration.
Some establishments even provide free non-alcoholic beverages and snacks to designated drivers as their way of helping even non-drinkers have a great time.
4. Celebrate Before Dark
Most St. Patrick’s Day accidents happen after dark, usually closer to or after midnight.
Since daylight savings returns the second Sunday of March and St. Patrick's Day is March 17, celebrate a little earlier with a dinner out and some drinks before dark, then use a safe method to drive home while there's still some light.
This can decrease the likelihood of being involved in a traffic accident on St. Paddy’s after dark.
5. Host Your Own Party
Consider inviting friends to your house for a St. Patrick’s celebration to keep spending costs down and have better control over everyone’s safety.
Collect keys at the door and make certain partygoers are sober enough to drive before you return their keys.
With the proliferation of Uber and Lyft rides available, be prepared to call one of these rideshares to make sure your more inebriated friends return home safely.
Keep St. Patrick’s Day Fun - Keep It Safe
Having a few green beers with your friends on St. Patrick’s Day can be a lot of fun if you celebrate the right way.
Auto accident lawyers suggest making safe transportation home a priority by planning out your ride ahead of time and making certain that any driver who’s been drinking not get behind the steering wheel.
Don’t let St. Paddy’s merrymaking cloud your judgment and turn what should be a happy night into an unforgettable one in the worst possible way.
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1United States Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Marketing, Drunk Driving: Saint Patrick's Day Buzzed Driving Fact Sheet, 2020