Cops: How to survive ‘most deadliest time’ on roads
New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road.
Specifically, between the hours of 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and 6 a.m. on Jan. 1
It’s a time when far too many drivers are impaired after celebrating a new year with alcohol.
Over the past five years, an average of 300 people died in drunk-driving crashes during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the NHTSA, 37,133 people died in traffic crashes in 2017 in the United States, including an estimated 10,874 people who were killed in drunk driving crashes involving a driver with an illegal blood alcohol level (.08 or greater).
Among the people killed in these drunk driving crashes, 68 percent (7,368) were in crashes in which at least one driver in the crash had a BAC of .15 or higher.
Norwalk police, like many other law enforcement agencies, advise people to avoid being on the road during that window of time.
State and local police plan sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols to help make our roads safer during this dangerous travel period.
If your celebrations this year will include alcohol, follow these tips to ensure you have a safe start to 2019:
1. Make a plan ahead of time. Don’t wait until you’ve started drinking to figure out how you’re going to get home.
2. Never get in the car with a driver who has been drinking. Even one alcoholic beverage can impair his or her ability to drive safely.
3. Make sure friends and family who celebrate with you have a safe ride home, or invite them to sleep on your couch or spare bed.
4. Plan to call a taxi or use a ride sharing service such as Uber or Lyft to help you get home safely.
5. If you wake up early on New Year’s Day after consuming too many adult beverages the night before, be aware that you could still be legally intoxicated and don’t drive until enough time has passed that you’re sober.
Also, if you witness a driver who you suspect may be driving under the influence, call 9-1-1.
As of Dec. 21, there have been 286 deaths on Connecticut roads this year. That’s the same number for the total number of deaths fotr 2017, according to the Connecticut Crash Data Repository.