St. Patrick’s Day celebrations across Connecticut are back in full swing. With close to 32 million Americans claiming Irish heritage and a two-year hiatus on some festivities, there are bound to be more celebrations than ever.
Unfortunately, preventable injuries skyrocket on and around St. Patrick's Day every year. Whether you’re going to a local parade, pub crawl, or hosting a celebration at home, there are several steps you can take to prevent holiday-related accidents and to keep your loved ones safe.
Know the Most Common St. Patrick's Day Risks
St. Patrick's Day injuries occur due to the same risk factors every year– most involving increased alcohol consumption. Educating yourself on the risks on the days leading up to the holiday can help you prevent accidents and injuries before they occur.
Increased Drunk Driving Accidents
St. Patrick’s Day is the fourth most popular drinking holiday of the year, meaning the number of drunk drivers on the road skyrockets. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) reports that 280 people were killed in drunk driving accidents on St. Patrick’s Day between 2015-2019; 57 of these fatalities occurred in 2019 alone.
When comparing these tragic incidents, the N.H.T.S.A. identified the hours between midnight and 5:59 a.m. as the most deadly time to drive. In fact, more than 63 percent of all St. Patrick's Day traffic accidents occurring during this period involved a drunk driver.
Pedestrian Deaths Increase
When drunk driving increases in populated areas, so does the number of pedestrian accidents. On a holiday based in bars and restaurants like St. Patrick's Day, where patrons are often hopping from place to place, the risk of accidents increases even further.
Pedestrians who are also impaired put themselves at a higher risk for accidents than sober ones. In 2019, at least 32 percent of all pedestrian deaths over St. Patrick’s Day involved pedestrians with a blood alcohol concentration at or above .08. Alcohol impairs your judgment and visibility, making it harder for pedestrians to cross and navigate city roads safely.
Alcohol Poisoning and Premise Accidents
Just because you stay home to celebrate the holiday does not mean you are immune to accidents. Binge drinking increases immensely on St. Patrick's Day. SCRAM Systems reports that over 56 percent of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, millions who plan to do so with alcoholic beverages. Binge drinking is often a goal during this holiday, leading to both short and long-term consequences, including:
- Alcohol Poisoning
- Physical Altercations
- Slip, Trip, and Fall Injuries
- Domestic Violence
- Financial Accountability
- Criminal Charges
Sadly, dozens of people die every year taking unnecessary risks on St. Patrick’s Day. Impaired individuals under the influence lack the perspective sober individuals have regarding risk-taking. Parties hosted at homes can provide a false sense of security that leads to life-threatening injuries.
How to Stay Safe This St. Patrick’s Day
We want nothing more than Connecticut residents to enjoy a safe and healthy St. Patrick’s Day. Here are a few steps you can take before and during your celebration to stay safe:
- Trust your group. Celebrate with friends and family that you trust to keep you safe and help prevent accidents.
- Designated driver. If you are leaving the house, make sure you have appointed a designated driver to ensure you have a sober ride home. If you don’t have a designated diver, what ridesharing app or public transit system do you plan to use instead?
- Pace yourself. Binge drinking is dangerous, and consequences happen quickly. Pace your drinking, stay hydrated and make sure you eat throughout your celebration to remain in control.
- Host a sober party. St. Patrick’s Day does not have to be a drinking holiday. Host a sober mocktail party to reduce the risk of drunk driving accidents in your community.
- Don’t take risks. There is no worse time to take risks than on a drinking holiday like St. Patrick’s Day. The point of the holiday is to have fun, not to put yourself in danger.
Are you looking for St. Patrick's Day festivities in Connecticut? Check out these fantastic local celebrations and events.
Jacobs & Wallace Connecticut Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you need an experienced law firm to protect your rights. At Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, we have decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut residents injured in negligent acts. Call us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.