St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. Festivities fueled by intoxication land thousands in the emergency room each year. Injuries can result from traffic accidents involving motorists and pedestrians. DUI accidents are on the rise during this boozy holiday, with 269 victims killed in St. Patrick’s Day drunk driving crashes from 2012-2016. To avoid serious injuries and death, partygoers can take simple steps to make their holiday celebrations safer.
Avoiding DUI Crashes
On St. Patrick’s Day, partygoers are known for bar hopping and drinking excessively. As alcohol consumption is at a high during these festivities, so is drunk driving. Alcohol intoxication isn’t the only kind of impaired driving taking place, however. St. Patrick’s day ranks as the third-highest holiday for marijuana use, making poly-impairment, or intoxication from multiple substances, a common cause of traffic crashes. Pedestrians are at an increased risk of becoming crash victims as well. Most pedestrian accidents involve impaired pedestrians or drivers.
Partygoers can reduce the risk of DUI accidents by:
- Choosing not to drink and drive. Opting for public transportation, designating a sober driver, hailing a taxi, or using ridesharing services can help reduce DUI crashes.
- Practicing mindful walking. Pedestrians can avoid accidents by walking in groups, maintaining a safe distance from vehicles, sticking to sidewalks, and refraining from walking in high traffic areas.
- Avoiding driving in areas congested with impaired pedestrians.
- Wearing lightly colored or reflective clothing, glowsticks, or using other glow accessories to increase visibility.
- Remaining diligent while driving. Distracted driving increases the risk of car crashes, even when the driver is sober.
Practicing Safe Alcohol Consumption
Binge drinking is one of the most celebrated parts of St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Special events at bars, parties with excess alcohol, and encouragement from other partygoers can lead individuals to drink to the point of alcohol poisoning. Safe and responsible drinking behaviors can help partygoers avoid ending up in the ER. Maintaining hydration by practicing a 1:1 ratio of water to alcoholic beverages can keep patrons safe. In addition, practicing moderation by sipping beverages rather than drinking them quickly can prevent excessive consumption. Spacing out drinks, consuming food, and being careful not to combine harmful substances with alcohol can prevent illness or injury. Finally, patrons should not accept drinks from people they don’t know and should keep a close eye on any beverage they are consuming to avoid unintentionally consuming unsafe substances.