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new-yearWe’re in the holiday home stretch! We’ve gotten through the shopping, the decorating, and the houses full of (hungry!) relatives. We’ve gotten off of work early, gone to parties, and made new holiday memories to cherish forever. We only have one more celebration before the year’s end, then it’s rinse, repeat, and do it all over again next year!

New Year’s Eve is often the biggest celebration of the year. People from all over flood to parties and other celebrations to ring in the New Year with family and friends. Because of this, there are typically a lot of vehicles on the road trying to get from one place to another, with many motorists not leaving themselves a lot of time to do it. If you plan on going out this New Year’s Eve, be sure to plan ahead to ensure that you not only get to your destination on time, but you do so safely.

Be Prepared: Make sure that every important detail is taken care of prior to having to leave for your event. Aside from getting yourself dressed and ready, be sure that you have the smaller details figured out as well. Going to a venue where you might need cash for drinks? Be sure to hit the ATM earlier in the day so that you aren’t rushing around later on that night. Preparation can save you time and stress (a stressed driver isn’t necessarily a safe driver). Remember, planning can alleviate stress, and help ensure that you have an amazing time while celebrating.

Leave Early: No one likes to be late. In fact, we could argue that being late actually contributes to a lot more traffic accidents than people even realize. When running late, some people might hit the gas pedal just a little bit harder, and roll through stops a little bit quicker just to shave off a few extra seconds. While these tactics may cut down on your commute time, they also greatly increase the risk of an accident taking place. Remember, it’s always better to be late than to never arrive at all because you’ve been injured in an accident. Leaving early will, at the very least, help cut back on the tendency to drive more aggressively because you’re running late.

Have a Plan: Research where you’re going and the best route to travel to and from the venue. If you take the time to learn the best route, you’ll eliminate any sort of confusion while on the road. Remember, a confused driver is a dangerous driver. Any sort of distraction greatly increases the likelihood that an accident may occur, so please take the time to know where you’re going.

Don’t Drink and Drive: If you’re driving to an event and you’re planning on drinking, either bring a designated driver along with you or call a cab to get home. While a lot of people claim to “know their limits” when it comes to drinking, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re okay to safely operate a moving vehicle. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And please, don’t just think about yourself – there are a lot of motorists on the road who are being responsible, and a bad drinking and driving decision on your part shouldn’t have to forever change their lives like it may change your own.

New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration and new beginnings. If you’re in an accident, it’s definitely not going to be a beginning that you’ll want to remember. The emergency room really isn’t the best place to ring in the New Year, so please be careful out there this holiday weekend. Whether you’re attending NYE Live! in downtown Louisville, hitting up a local bar or restaurant for a New Year’s Eve party, or simply counting down to 2017 at a friend or relative’s house, be sure that you take the time to plan, be smart, have fun, and get home safely so you can start the New Year off on a good note!