It’s not easy to get around New York City on St. Patrick’s Day. Even if you’re not anywhere near Manhattan, the sheer amount of people in the city on a popular bar-hopping holiday can make the subways congested, the roads unsafe – and the price of taxis or Ubers skyrocket.
While surge charges for rideshare apps can make you choke on your drink, though, paying a few extra bucks for a ride is not the thing that should deter you driving on St. Patrick’s Day. The bottom line: the holiday is not just a rough day on the road – it’s one of the most dangerous and deadliest days to drive.
As one might expect, the danger from driving on St. Patrick’s Day comes from the amount of people who are driving under the influence. Simply put, St. Patrick’s Day is a big drinking holiday, and the high cost of rideshares may make people think that it’s worth the risk to drive under the influence.
It’s not. On average, 36 people lose their lives each day to a drunk driver. Around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, that number spikes to 54. Put another way: drunk driving causes 40% of all traffic-related deaths during St. Patrick’s Day.
How New Yorkers Can Stay Safe This St. Patrick’s Day
Of course, the dangers of driving don’t mean that you have to simply sit on your couch alone with a bottle of green beer. Here are some things you can do to stay safe and still have fun.
- Plan Ahead: Knowing where you are going for St. Patrick’s Day can possibly cut down on trips around the city, or the cost of your mode of transportation. Once you finally decide where you’re going to party, talk to your group: is anyone willing to take the subway? Where can you meet ahead of time so you all pay for one rideshare? A solid plan may be able to help you avoid a car altogether.
- Bite the Bullet and Pay the Surcharges: Paying for Ubers or Lyfts on St. Patrick’s Day will be pricey, but worth it – especially when you consider the cost of a DUI charge. Having a driver that you know is alert and prepared to drive safely during the holiday is the best bet you have if you want to head out on the road to ring in the New Year.
- Wait until the Afternoon to Drive: Spending the night at a friend’s house on St. Patrick’s Day is a great idea. You reap all the benefits of using your own car without the risk of a DUI. Proceed with caution, though. Drunk driving fatalities do not just happen during the nighttime. In fact, St. Patrick’s Day Day is the 3rd most dangerous holiday in New York City for drivers. This holiday is also a dangerous day for pedestrians. Even if you think you are sober enough to drive on St. Patrick’s Day, take an extra hour or two and drink some water or a cup of coffee before hitting the road. The later you drive, the more hungover or still-drunk drivers you will be able to avoid.
What Happens If You Are In an Accident
No matter how long you wait or how many rideshares you order, in the end getting on the road is always a risk. Even if you are on your best behavior, another driver may not be.
The news isn’t completely bad, though. If you do get into an auto accident with a drunk driver over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries or the damages done to your car.
If you are injured in an accident, be sure to remember the following:
- Document Everything. Make sure you take pictures of damages, take testimony from witnesses, and record anything that is relevant to the accident. This information will come in handy during negotiations, or if you need to go to court. There are apps available for download that will walk you through all of the information you need to gather after a car accident.
- Plead the Fifth. In New York, taking responsibility for any part of a car accident will potentially lower the amount of compensation you can receive. Do not answer any questions that you do not want to answer, and do not give up any information about your night out or any potentially negligent behavior you may have been engaged in.
- Contact a New York Personal Injury Lawyer. If another driver is faced with paying for your damages, they may hire a lawyer and fight the charges. Have a lawyer on your side as well. Start building your case by giving us a call today.