St. Patrick’s Day, the fourth most popular drinking holiday in the United States, is just around the corner. Millions of Americans are expected to celebrate by throwing back a few pints of Guinness and some Irish whiskey. Unfortunately, many of these Americans will also get behind the wheel of a car.
Statistics show that there tends to be a surge in the number of fatal traffic accidents on and immediately after St. Patrick’s Day. A significant number of these accidents involve drivers who were under the influence of alcohol.
In 2016, 39 percent of fatal car accidents on St. Patrick’s Day involved a drunk driver. In the hours immediately after St. Patrick’s Day, between midnight and 6 AM, 69 percent of fatal crashes involved a drunk driver.
This St. Patrick’s Day may be no different. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) will likely be out in full force to patrol the roads and catch drunk drivers before they can cause a fatal crash. Despite this, accidents will still happen. You can’t control how others celebrate the holiday. Fortunately, there are ways to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this St. Patrick’s Day.
1. Take an Uber or Lyft
Approximately one out of every three Americans will go out to a bar or restaurant to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If you plan on going out, leave your car keys at home. Request an Uber or Lyft, instead. You can relax and enjoy a few drinks, knowing that a sober rideshare driver will be able to bring you home safely.
While Uber and Lyft accidents do happen, you’re much less likely to be involved in an accident on St. Patrick’s Day when aa entirely sober driver is behind the wheel. Your Uber or Lyft driver will be more capable of navigating dangerous Los Angeles roads safely. In the event that they do encounter an inebriated driver, they’ll b the reflexes and coordination to minimize the risk of a car accident.
2. Take Advantage of Public Transportation
Los Angeles is home to the country’s second-largest public transportation agency. You can get almost anywhere in the city by bus or train. Public transportation can be much more cost-efficient than hailing a cab or requesting an Uber. It can also be much safer than risking extended periods of time on the roads during St. Patrick’s Day. Consider riding the bus or catching the light rail to get to your intended partying destination.
3. Celebrate Early
While car accidents do happen all day, the most serious crashes tend to occur after dark. In fact, the number of fatal car accidents on St. Patrick’s Day tends to double after midnight. You can reduce the risk of getting into a St. Patrick’s Day car accident by celebrating the holiday while it’s still light out. Take the family to a parade, go out for lunch, or try to squeeze in an early dinner. The sooner you wrap up your holiday celebrations, the earlier you can be safe in the comfort of your own home.
4. Throw a Party of Your Own
You don’t have to go to a bar or restaurant to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Consider throwing a holiday bash of your own. Invite friends and family members over for a fun, festive affair. Decorate your house in green and Irish decor. Cook up popular Irish dishes or host a pot luck celebration. Limit the amount of alcohol you serve or encourage your guests to stay the night. Make sure that anyone who does celebrate at your home is sober or takes a cab home.
There’s always a risk of getting into a car accident, especially on the fourth most popular drinking day of the year. It’s important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer if you are involved in a St. Patrick’s Day car accident. Contact Glotzer & Leib, PLLC to learn more.