Ringing in the New Year is a time honored tradition across the world. It usually involves a party of some sort, and may include the consumption of alcoholic beverages as a means of celebration. Now, on the surface, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that(assuming you are legally old enough to drink). As long as its legal, what somebody does in the comfort of their own home is their business. However, the problem begins when someone chooses to get behind the wheel of a car on New Year’s Eve after having a few drinks. Extremely cold weather makes controlling a vehicle hard enough as it is when a person has full function of all their faculties. Roads are slick, and it is very easy to get an accident if you do not practice safe driving techniques. Throw alcohol into the mix? The odds of somebody needing a car accident lawyer increase dramatically. According to a report by The University of Texas at San Antonio, a driver’s reaction time is slowed down anywhere from 15-25% after drinking alcohol. When you consider that most driving decisions are made in the matter of split seconds, that statistic becomes even more alarming. A driver needs all the reaction time they can get, and consuming even a drop of alcohol prevents that from happening. That’s right. All it takes is one drink to significantly impair a driver’s mental faculties and subsequent reaction time. With that in mind, it is no wonder New Year’s Eve consistently has the most drunk driving related fatalities. That said, there are ways to protect yourself from needing an auto accident lawyer this New Year’s Eve. First, do not drive on New Year’s Eve unless it is absolutely necessary. We understand many people enjoy dining out at a nice restaurant that night, and many of those same restaurants run special New Year’s Eve menus for their customers. However, you have no way of knowing who is on the road with you, and the risk does not outweigh the reward. There are 364 other days throughout the year when you can treat yourself to a luxurious meal at a five star restaurant. Now, if for whatever reason you can not convince yourself to celebrate at home on New Year’s Eve, at least make sure to beat the crowd when going out to eat. It stands to reason with fewer cars on the road, the lower the odds of encountering a drunk driver. That means instead of going to out to eat between 6 and 8 pm, try booking your reservation for 5 or 5:30. Another good idea is to try and drive only on roads that are not high traffic areas. That means instead of taking a major thoroughfare or freeway to get to your destination, use multi-lane back roads where you will not encounter as much traffic. All of this said, sometimes no matter how many precautions you take, accidents are unavoidable. Especially on one of the biggest party nights of the year. If you or someone you know are involved in an auto accident on New Year’s Eve and suffer personal injury, call an attorney right away. They will evaluate your case, and guide you in right direction when it comes to pursuing your claim.