The Dangers of St. Patrick's Day - Wormington & Bollinger

The Dangers of St. Patrick’s Day

by Wormington & Bollinger

The Dangers of St Patrick's Day - Wormington & BollingerSt. Patrick’s Day is one of the most beloved holidays by Americans. Also known as St. Patty’s Day or St. Paddy’s Day, affectionately, the Irish holiday falls on March 17th every year. And while St. Patrick happens to be the patron saint of Ireland, a vast majority of St. Patrick’s Day traditions started right here in the United States. For many people, St. Patrick’s Day is a celebratory event that culminates in bar hopping, green beer, and a fun day full of festivities. And let’s not forget corned beef and cabbage, of course. Unfortunately, because St. Patrick’s Day is such a big drinking holiday, it sees its fair share of accidents and injuries. Drunk driving incidents and DUI arrests spike over the mid-March holiday, often leading to tragic accidents that could have been avoided.

The purpose of today’s blog is to take a closer look at why St. Patrick’s Day is so deadly, and the steps you can take to stay safe and prevent an accident. While the majority of accidents that occur over this holiday do involve alcohol, it’s important to note that drinking-related injuries aren’t the only potential dangers on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you decide to head out to the bars clad in green with your friends or find yourself amid a leprechaun-inspired celebration, know your rights and how to protect yourself. If you are involved in an accident this St. Patrick’s Day, we encourage you to contact the McKinney personal injury lawyers at Wormington & Bollinger. In the event you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver on St. Patrick’s Day, contact us and schedule a free consultation. The sooner you speak to a lawyer, the better.

The Numbers Don’t Lie – St. Patrick’s Day Accident Statistics

Not only can St. Patrick’s Day wind up a costly holiday (all that corned beef and green beer add up!), but WalletHub says that it is the third-biggest drinking holiday in the United States. Sadly, the good times had on St. Patrick’s Day are often cut short because of drunk driving and other costly mistakes. Not only can this have a long-lasting impact on your life, but it can forever impact the lives of others. To better understand how many people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the role of alcohol, let’s look at a few statistics:

  • In 2020, 57 percent of Americans say they plan on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
  • Worldwide, $6.16 billion will be spent on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations
  • Patrick’s Day is the most popular holiday in the United States for consuming beer
  • On average, a St. Patrick’s Day celebrator will consume 4.2 drinks
  • 32 percent of men say they binge drink on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Over 13 million pints of Guinness are consumed on average on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Beer sales increase by 174 percent on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Spirits sales increase by 153 percent
  • Between 2012 and 2016, there were 269 fatalities over the Irish holiday
  • In 2018, 73 people died in drunk driving accidents on St. Patrick’s Day
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 38 percent of drivers killed in St. Patrick’s Day accidents had a blood-alcohol level over .08
  • During the post-party hours (midnight to 6 a.m.), 69 percent of fatal car accidents involved a drunk driver
  • 33 percent of pedestrians killed on St. Patrick’s Day in 2018 had a blood-alcohol level higher than .08

Common Causes of St. Patrick’s Day Accidents 

We know St. Patrick’s Day is dangerous, primarily because of drunk drivers. But what else can go wrong? Here’s a look at other common causes of St. Patrick’s Day accidents:

  • Over-consumption injuries, especially among college-aged individuals
  • Cooking fires or other kitchen accidents
  • Burn injuries
  • Pedestrian or bicyclist accidents
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical altercations (often because of alcohol)

Tips for Staying Safe

As you can see from the numbers above, the most significant danger and cause of accidents on St. Patrick’s Day is impaired drivers. You must know how to spot a drunk driver and maintain a safe distance if you suspect someone is under the influence. These individuals make erratic moves and can change course in a split second. If you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, take extra care when traveling on the state’s highways. Not only do they pose more risks at night and on a drinking holiday like St. Patrick’s Day, but they are among the most dangerous highways in the nation.

With that in mind, here are some important tips to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe on St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Plan ahead by designating a sober driver
  • NEVER drink and drive
  • Have an alternate plan in the event you cannot find a designated driver (call a friend or family member, stay at a nearby hotel, call a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, stay the night at a friend’s, take public transportation with a friend, etc.)
  • Drink plenty of water and eat food (especially if you are drinking during the day)
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Keep an eye on your friends
  • Drivers: Pay attention to your surroundings and watch for signs of impaired drivers
    • If you think another driver is under the influence, keep your distance and call the police with as much information as possible
    • Never try to follow or approach drunk drivers
    • Watch for pedestrians, especially in busy downtown areas
  • If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day parade, keep an eye on your children, watch for items thrown from floats, and remember to wash your hands frequently
  • If you feel any level of impairment, do not get behind the wheel

Don’t let your St. Patrick’s Day end in tragedy. Avoid the common causes of accidents listed above and take every precaution to keep yourself and others safe. If you are involved in a St. Patrick’s Day accident, please contact Wormington & Bollinger and schedule a free consultation.

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