New York has one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the county. It’s a holiday associated with drinking. That’s just how it is. Although St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone for 2012, there are some lessons to be learned that could keep you safe during future holidays, avoiding motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers and other incidents. This is especially true if you drive or walk on crowded streets.
Safety tips for holiday celebrations:
- Let your family and friends know when you plan to be home. Call them if your plans change (but don’t call them while driving).
- Consciously obey all traffic signs and lights. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles.
- Look your car doors.
- Don’t stop and ask for directions unless the area is well lit and there are other people around.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- If you’ve had something to drink, use the services available to you. Take a cab. Take the subway. Call a friend. Ask the bartender. Everyone wants you to get home safely.
- Don’t hesitate to take friends’ keys. They will thank you in the morning.
- Watch out for other drunk drivers on the road
Enjoy yourself. And while you do, consider these facts about St. Patrick’s Day:
- The first St. Patrick’s Day parade did not take place in Ireland, or even in New York. It happened in Boston in 1737.
- St. Patrick’s Day began as a religious holiday, celebrating the patron saint of Ireland.
- At least 35 million US residents claim Irish ancestry, a number that is seven times the current population of Ireland. Of these, around 145,000 were born in Ireland.
- Although corned beef and cabbage is served in American Irish pubs, it is not a traditional Irish dish. The Irish version is bacon and potatoes, but new immigrants substituted corned beef because it was cheaper.
- Christmas and New Year’s are see more drunk driving accidents and fatalities than other holidays. Is it because St. Patrick’s Day is primarily celebrated in big cities, where people are more likely to walk or take public transit?
And now, some sobering information about other holidays:
Two to three times more people die in alcohol related-crashes during Christmas and New Year’s than during the rest of the year, making these very deadly holidays. Not only do people drive drunk during these holiday seasons, but roads are also likely to be more treacherous. However, the most dangerous time to be on the road is Thanksgiving weekend.
Source: Life Insurance News, “Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day safely to avoid incidents,” Mar. 16, 2012.