New Year’s Eve is a time to party, to celebrate the end of the current year and the beginning of the one ahead. But of course there are some people who just can’t let the good times roll. They see New Year’s Eve as a time to take advantage of people in whatever way they see fit.
Even if you’re avoiding the crowds and the parties, New Year’s Eve can be filled with other dangers that you should be aware of. If you think you may encounter any of the following dangers on New Year’s Eve, then this guide will ensure that you know how to avoid them.
HOW TO AVOID THIS: Many people get drunk on New Year’s Eve, but that doesn’t mean you have to be one of them. If you think you may get a little carried away with the cocktails, set a limit for yourself beforehand. If you’re committed to drinking only, say, two drinks that night, you’ll be more mindful of when to stop drinking.
Try to stay away from fruity or sweet drinks because if you don’t taste the alcohol, it’s easy to forget that you’re drinking it. Take small sips throughout the evening so that your drink lasts. If you guzzle it down, you’ll be asking for a refill quickly and the goal is to pace yourself.
HOW TO AVOID THIS: Even if you don’t drink too much, drinking at all and getting behind the wheel of a car puts yourself and others at risk. If you know you’re going to be drinking on New Year’s, make sure you have a designated driver. If not, take a taxi or the bus home. And don’t forget that you can be cited for driving under the influence even if you’re just riding a bicycle.
Don’t try walking home by yourself. This is known as drunk walking and can cause harm to yourself and others. When you’re drunk, your reaction time and judgment are impaired, so you are more likely to stumble into the street, become lost or get hit by a car. In fact, according to MSNBC, New Year’s Day is the deadliest day for pedestrians because of drunk driving and drunk walking.
HOW TO AVOID THIS: Watch your drink like a hawk. Always keep it in your hand and be aware of who gets too close to it. If you have to put your drink down, don’t pick it up again. Instead, get a fresh drink and get it yourself. While you may feel flattered by the cute guy or girl who’s offered to get you a drink, make sure you are with that person when he or she gets you a drink, or politely decline and get one yourself.
HOW TO AVOID THIS: Fireworks can cause many injuries including burns and blindness. It’s important to be safe and smart when setting off fireworks yourself. Light one firework at a time and wear protective eyewear to prevent any eye injuries. Keep a bucket of water at hand at all times.
The one danger you may not be aware of is the toxic smoke that fireworks emit. The toxins can easily be breathed in and can irritate the lungs, triggering an asthma attack or even harming those who are healthy. To avoid this, light your fireworks in an open, clear area and keep a safe distance between yourself and the fireworks.
HOW TO AVOID THIS: If you wouldn’t have unprotected sex any other night of the year, then New Year’s Eve is not the time to start. If you plan on having sex that night, make sure you have condoms and have taken birth control. Don’t sleep with someone you just met that night, and also be sure to keep the drinks to a minimum. You’ll want to keep your wits about you so you can make wise decisions for yourself and not be taken advantage of.
HOW TO AVOID THIS: Don’t bring or wear anything valuable. Decide what’s necessary to have with you that night, such as a wallet and cell phone, and bring only that. Stick your belongings in an inside coat pocket or a wristlet, so others can’t get to them so easily. Carjackings are also common on New Year’s, so either carpool with your friends or take public transportation.
HOW TO AVOID THIS: Gunfire is a huge danger on New Year’s because people tend to shoot guns in celebration of the New Year. Since bullets can travel up to two miles, it’s important to protect yourself and your family from their path. Stay inside for the first 10 to 15 minutes of the New Year or attend a public event that won’t feature gunslinging as entertainment.
The most helpful way to avoid any dangers on New Year’s is to use the buddy system. Stick with your friends and watch out for them and have them do the same for you. Have a network of other friends and family members who may be able to help you in an emergency and watch for others who may be posing a danger to you or your friends. Just because you know how to avoid the dangers of New Year’s Eve, that doesn’t mean that everyone else does, too.