Ringing in the New Year with friends and family is so much fun, and most people enjoy having a drink to celebrate. However, we took a look at the New Years driving statistics and found that on New Year's Eve drunk driving is still a huge problem. According to SafeAuto.com, compared to an average night on the weekend, there are 71% more crashes with drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor between December 31st at 6pm and January 1st at 6am. In just that 12 hour period, alcohol and drug related car crashes skyrocket.

Overall, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) notes that the overall number of drunk driving deaths is down by about 50% since 1980. However, we still know that New Year's Eve and New Year's Day continues to be a day clouded by drunk driving accidents and deaths. New Year's driving statistics from SafeAuto.com show that between 2008 and 2012, January 1st had the highest percentage of alcohol related deaths when compared to other days and holidays. In fact, on New Year's Day in 2013 alone, we found out that 140 individuals were killed in crashes that were alcohol related. On most days, only 28 people in America die after being in a drunk driving crash, so it's easy to see that the numbers are much higher on New Year's Day.

While individuals of all ages drink and drive, MADD statistics show that 21-24 year olds are the most likely age group to be involved in a drunk driving crash.

We have some good news. Although New Years driving statistics show that many fatalities occur on this holiday, it is possible to take some steps that will reduce problems with New Years drunk driving. Before heading out to New Year's celebrations this year, we recommend the following tips:

  • Before going out, MADD recommends designating a driver who will not drink on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day.
  • If possible, spend the night at a friend or family member's home to avoid needing to drive home.
  • Be responsible. Never allow someone who has been drinking heavily to get in the driver's seat of a vehicle.
  • When hosting a New Year's Eve or New Year's Day party, be responsible and help guests arrange transportation. According to MedicalDaily.com, hosts could be held responsible if someone leaves their home and kills or hurts someone in an alcohol related collision.
  • Individuals who have had even one drink of alcohol should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, and it's important to never ride with someone else who has had even one or two drinks.
  • If a friend or family member appears to be impaired, take their keys away to prevent that individual from getting behind the wheel of a car.
  • It's better to call a friend or family member for a ride, even if it's embarrassing, than to get behind the wheel and cause a serious accident.
  • Individuals should call the police if they see an impaired driver out on the road. We think it's better to get the police involved than to let that individual cause a car crash.