You’ve probably heard the old superstition, “What you do at New Year’s is what you’ll be doing all year.”
Well, a recent study by SmartAsset (a financial website) finds Florida drivers rank among the worst. Factors contributing to the rank included insured driver statistics, DUI data, and average fatalities per miles driven. SafeAuto.com also reported that there are typically 71% more alcohol and drug-related crashes between 6p.m. and 6 a.m. over the New Year’s holiday than an average weekend night.
In other words, we’re experiencing more crashes among the worst drivers in the country on the night that – supposedly – sets the tone for the whole year. Yes, it’s superstition, but still…
In all seriousness, if that isn’t reason enough to stay off Florida roadways, here are five more great reasons not to drive on New Year’s Eve.
Reason 1: No Chance of Spending Your Money & Time on a DUI
If you are charged with a DUI under Florida law, even a first conviction could cost you up to $2,000 (or more in certain circumstances). You would have a far better experience using that money to treat yourself and that special someone to a night at a five-star hotel. As this article is being written, a King guest room at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale with a balcony overlooking the ocean will only set you back about half that max fine!
Besides fines, Florida DUI convictions carry a mandatory sentence of 50 hours community service, and probation for up to one year. Additionally, actual imprisonment and/or participation in a treatment program is not uncommon and left to the court’s discretion.
Your license will also be revoked for all of 2019. Something that will definitely put a damper on your New Year’s resolutions.
Reason 2: No Such Thing as Gridlock in Your Driveway
With multiple street closures, elevated foot traffic, impaired drivers, and the overall increase in activity and excitement, expect your drive time to and from the Downtown Countdown in Fort Lauderdale to crawl. If doesn’t matter if you volunteered to be designated driver or you have lined up a rideshare for a safe way home, either – your time in traffic will be virtually the same.
However, you can skip the hours in creeping traffic, the increased risk of involvement in a pedestrian-vehicle accident, and encounters with drunk drivers on the roadways outside of downtown altogether by keeping your car parked in your driveway.
Reason 3: Spending More Time with People You Really Care About
Let’s be honest – when you commit to a drive downtown for the New Year’s countdown, you know spending the evening with a few thousand strangers, being barely able to have a conversation with the people you came with, and drinking over-priced well drinks until midnight is part of the deal.
You are also probably well aware that your chances of spending the weeks following that celebration working with a Florida personal injury lawyer because of some unexpected fiasco or another are exponentially higher than if you’d only decided to host a house party with some of your favorite people.
Reason 4: You Create Way Better Drinks at Home Anyway
The average price of a cocktail – and not necessarily top shelf – is reported to be $11 in Ft. Lauderdale. On New Year’s Eve you can expect that to double to $22/glass. And the price of that champagne toast is a whole other story in itself.
On the flipside, your hand-crafted cocktails at home are certain to cost far less, have better quality ingredients, and likely have a better spirit/mix ratio. Additionally, if you are so inclined, you’re free to have more than one without worrying about breaking the bank or the law by driving under the influence.
Reason 5: You Can Make the Evening (and the New Year) Exactly What You Want
When you decide not to drive on New Year’s Eve, you are shifting control away from outside influences and back into your own hands. There is no better way to ring in the new year than being worry-free and enjoying the last few hours of 2018 with your closest compadres for great conversation, top-shelf drinks, and more money in your pocket.
So, heed that old family adage, and consider playing it safe at the start of a brand-new year. Otherwise, one night of fun could cost you more than a hangover on New Year’s Day.
About the Author:
Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.
Imagine sleeping soundly in bed and then a loud crashing crane comes through your roof. It was a scene that happened this week in North Miami Beach, where a crane that was being used to repair a seawall slid off a barge and struck the roof of a condominium building. [gallery type="slideshow" link="file" size="large" [..]
Car accidents can happen anywhere. Especially where you least expect it. Parking lots, driveways, parking garages, and drive-thrus are well-known for accident scenes. Even your own living room. On Wednesday, August 21st, an accident involving two cars ended up crashing into a Miami Gardens home. One of the drivers was air lifted to a [..]
Dade and Broward county roads are about to become a bit more confusing and request drivers to be more attentive to the road and the scheduled construction plans on the 826 Palmetto Expressway and I-75 throughout August 2019, while making room for a new Express Lane on the 826 Palmetto Expressway. As auto accident attorneys [..]
July 4th tends to evoke backyard barbecues, poolside cocktails, and fireworks at dusk. We usually think of spending this holiday with family, and staying close to home. On the contrary, AAA pegs the fourth as one of their busiest days. Did you know the average distance traveled on July 4th is 617 miles? What’s more, [..]
When most of us think about Fourth of July safety, we think about fireworks. Although improper use of fireworks can cause serious injuries, there’s a less obvious risk: food poisoning. Most Fourth of July celebrations involve outdoor gatherings, with perishable food that’s often brought in by a number of people, some of whom may not [..]
Summer is upon us, and it’s peak swimming pool season in the sunshine state. Although swimming is a great way to cool off and get some exercise, it can also be dangerous. Statistics show three children die every day from swimming pool accidents, and many more people sustain serious injuries. In many cases, these tragic [..]
Memorial Day offers a time to celebrate loved ones lost. It also signals the beginning of another Florida summer which often means road trip! In either case, we all find a reason and a way to cut loose. Unfortunately, these celebrations also lead to an uptick in car accidents. The primary causes? More cars on [..]
Johnson & Johnson has been a trusted name in cosmetics and household products for decades. However, in recent years, they have come under fire for lawsuits that suggest their talcum powder products caused cancer. The company isn’t just paying with a blow to their reputation, either. Earlier this year, a woman in California won $29 [..]
Every summer, Floridians look forward to that much needed break that summer camp provides: the kids to get away from the daily grind of the school year, and you to get a little breathing room from them. Exactly how much of a break would it be, though, if you’re still holding your breath in anticipation [..]
Temperatures are rising and a lot of long weekends are just around the corner. Whether you’re planning to hop in your boat for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or other summer holidays, it’s important to stay safe this season. Boating accidents do happen here in Florida, and many can be fatal. In 2017, 658 [..]
Bars and advertisements for alcoholic products often encourage people to “drink responsibly,” but in some cases, the establishments or bartenders serving these drinks may be at least partially liable for a patron’s alcohol-related injury or death. Under certain circumstances, bars can—and should—be held responsible for over-serving patrons. Many states have “dram shop” laws (named [..]
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means barbecues, family vacations, and a lot of days sitting by the pool. While you and your loved ones enjoy the hot summer weather and cool water, it is important to keep yourself safe. In this post we will be focusing on swimming pool injuries and how to prevent them. [..]
Uber and Lyft have really made getting around town a lot easier. The apps are simple to use, the cars are relatively inexpensive, and getting a ride only takes a few minutes. However, as wonderful as Uber and Lyft are for convenience when you need a quick lift, it is important to remember that [..]
The death of a loved one is traumatic and devastating experience— regardless of the cause. However, the ordeal can be especially upsetting if the death could have been avoided had it not been for the negligent actions of another. In Florida, surviving family members and loved ones may be able to recover compensation for [..]
Florida’s summer is well underway, and the hot weather is a perfect excuse to get out on the water. With close to 900,000 registered vessels in the state, chances are that you or someone you know owns a boat and is planning to use it this season. Getting out on a lake or the ocean [..]
Right now, all Florida drivers are required to have car insurance coverage that pays personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, but that may come to an end in 2019 if some lawmakers get their way. Florida currently operates under a “no-fault” system when it comes to paying insurance claims after a car accident. If a [..]
When you become a parent, every little decision regarding your child’s safety and development can become a hot debate. We’re not going to tell you how to raise your child, but we do have one piece of advice backed up with statistics from the AAP and NHTSA. When you are driving with your child, [..]
It’s not every day that you get into an accident and need to file a personal injury protection (PIP) suit. This type of litigation may be confusing to many, especially since PIP laws are constantly being debated and changed in Florida. However, it is possible for you to get through this process and receive [..]
What are your chances of getting hit by someone driving a rental car in Florida? Every year, the state of Florida has 15 million active drivers on its many roads and highways. About 250,000 drivers end up in car crashes annually in Florida. Since almost 85 million visitors come to enjoy Florida every year, [..]
Image: http://pixabay.com/en/dog-man-attacking-canine-training-78117/ When Pets Attack, They Can Cause Serious or Even Fatal Injuries Most people like dogs. How can you resist those adoring eyes, the wagging tail, and the warm, fuzzy head that seems to appear in your lap just when you’re feeling your lowest? So many Americans like dogs, in fact, that [..]