Have a jolly, green, safe time

By on March 15, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Posted in: Safety and Insurance Issues

Guest Blogger: Alencia J., communications specialist, Maryland

When you think of green, the Gecko and the money GEICO can save you are naturally the first things that come to mind, right? But this time of year, you might be thinking about St. Patrick’s Day, too. I recently graduated from college, where St. Patrick’s Day was an excuse for a big party, especially if it fell on – or near – a weekend.

I’m a little older and wiser now, and it’s clear to me that St. Patrick’s Day can be a very dangerous holiday if you’re not careful.

If you plan to participate in any St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, be cautious. The leprechauns and their friends may entice you with frivolity and green beer, but they don’t tell you about the likelihood of being involved in an alcohol-related accident. Over the past five years, nearly 40 percent of fatal accidents on St. Patrick’s Day weekend involved alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Don’t fall for their tricks. Follow these guidelines:

  • If you are going to party with alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver confirmed before the party begins, or plan ahead to use public transportation.
  • Hosting the party? Stay aware of your guests’ alcohol consumption. If they drink too much, don’t let them drive home.
  • Binge drinking is common on St. Patrick’s Day, especially for young people, so know your limit; the American Heart Association has some recommendations.
  • Safe driver and not a drinker? You still need to be cautious of other people on the highway. Keep a safe speed, buckle up and try to leave early when possible.

Enjoy your corned beef and cabbage on the one day when everyone’s Irish, but if the little leprechaun still gets the best of you, give up your keys and call a cab. Do a little research ahead of time to find out if any organizations in your area sponsor free cab rides, and keep that number handy. It could be more than the “luck of the Irish” that saves your life, and someone else’s.