As anyone who has ever resolved to start going to the gym on January 1st can tell you, keeping New Year’s resolutions isn’t easy. There’s one resolution, however, that we at Brickley Law encourage everyone in Fairfield County and Connecticut to keep: Celebrating the New Year safely.

Statistics show that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are two of the most dangerous times to be on the road, for both motorists and pedestrians. Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that more pedestrians are killed on Jan. 1 than any other day, while Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 both rank near the top for alcohol-related traffic collisions.

Yet while the roads present a serious risk, celebrating New Year’s safely extends beyond safe driving. There are also some household hazards of which you should be aware of this holiday season.

To help ensure that everyone stays as safe as possible — whether you’re taking the show on the road or celebrating the New Year’s ball drop in the safety of your living room — let’s take a closer look at some smart New Year’s safety tips.

Be a Welcoming, but Safe, Host

Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away during the festive season. A great party host, however, knows how to exercise care and caution while still staging a memorable gathering. This means never allowing guests at your home to drive after becoming intoxicated. It’s a massive risk to their own health and others on the road — and could even open you up to questions of legal liability.

Watch Out for Others

If someone you’re ringing in the new year with has imbibed too much and you’ve abstained, either be a designated driver or help arrange for a taxi or ridesharing service. If one of your fellow partygoers is showing signs of serious overintoxication (intense vomiting, passing out, seizures, bluish skin, difficulty breathing etc.) do not hesitate to arrange for a medical evaluation.

Protect Your Pets

For many of our furry friends, New Year’s Eve is a terrifying experience. The loud sounds of fireworks (or even firearms) can be profoundly unsettling for family dogs and other animals. A dog or cat’s natural instinct is to flee when it’s terrified by loud noises; this means that pets should be safely secured indoors to prevent them from running into traffic. Turning up the volume on the TV or music can also help drown out the sound of fireworks, and soothe pets.

Don’t Leave Your Car Unattended

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, New Year’s Day is the second most likely day on which to have your car stolen. Avoid leaving your car parked on unfamiliar lots and streets to minimize the risk of a theft.

Learn the Basics of Cork Safety

Believe it or not, that bottle of midnight bubbly can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. In order to safely remove the cork from a champagne bottle, you should learn the “45 Degree Rule.” Keep the champagne chilled at 45 degrees (which makes the cork more stable), and keep the bottle aimed at a 45 degree angle when removing the cork. It’s also a smart idea to remove the cork outside, in order to avoid any damage to your person or your home.

The Takeaway

Joyful celebrations with friends and family are part of what makes the New Year’s holiday so special — and we at Brickley Law certainly hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful experience this year.

However, if you are injured during the holidays due to the negligence of another, and you’re looking for a Fairfield County injury attorney, we encourage you to contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule a free, private consultation.

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