People celebrate New Year’s as a way to welcome the future. It’s a time to revel in renewal, change, and hope. Often, however, that celebration goes overboard. Here are a few ways people can sustain injury during a New Year’s celebration.
Alcohol is usually an inescapable part of New Year’s celebration. While people wait for midnight to roll around, they typically fill the gap with food, drink, and social activities. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the alcohol-consumption rate in Wisconsin is 1.3 times higher than the national average, and adult binge drinking is the 3rd highest in the United States. Binge drinking is a dangerous way to consume alcohol. Not only can it lead to aggressive behavior and violence, it also increases your risk of an accident or fall and it could lead to alcohol poisoning. This practice has also been linked to mental health problems with long-term use.
Another consequence of New Year’s drinking is an increase in the amount of drunk drivers on the road after midnight. Once the festivities have ended, if people haven’t arranged for an Uber or a cab ride home, they might attempt to drive themselves, regardless of whether or not they are physically capable. New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous times to drive. Around 42% of traffic accidents on that day are caused by drunk driving. In 2015, about 1,200 people were killed during the holiday in an alcohol-related incident.
Strangely enough, holidays and starting fires go hand in hand. After all, you rely on fire to cook your food, bake your goods, warm your home, and start your fireworks. However, there’s a good reason people warn their children to not play with fire. While more firework-related injuries are reported during Independence Day celebrations, it’s not unusual to hear the crack or boom of a firecracker go off in your neighborhood during New Year’s Eve. Even sparklers, one of the more mild-seeming celebratory fireworks, caused 28% of recorded firework injuries in 2014.
Inattention can also lead to serious house fires. People who leave their cooking unattended are more likely to encounter a fire. From 2004–2008, U.S. fire departments responded to about 154,700 home cooking fires each year. Leaving a holiday candle burning can also be dangerous, as it has the potential to catch surrounding objects on fire. This danger increases if your home smoke detector is broken.
Those with guns sometimes enjoy firing their weapons into the air in celebration. This celebratory gunfire, while intended to be as loud but harmless as your average firework, can nevertheless be dangerous. What people don’t realize is bullets fired into the air must fall back to the ground. While the initial velocity of the shot is lost, the force of gravity’s pull on the bullet is just as deadly. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did a study revealing that 80% of injuries from celebratory gunfire are to the head, feet, and shoulders—those parts of the body most vulnerable to a bullet falling almost directly downward. Since 1999, at least 4 children were killed as a result of celebratory gunfire.
Lack of Care
Drinking in general, even in moderation, lowers peoples’ ability to reason and increases their likelihood of injuring themselves. Even those not inclined to drink may find themselves cutting safety corners or relaxing to the point of inattention merely because of the holiday spirit. For example, people can get injured even before the party starts. A cork can fly out of a champagne bottle at 50 MPH with 3 times the amount of pressure behind it as a car tire. If someone makes the mistake of pointing the bottle at their own eye or the eye of someone standing close, the cork could cause a severe injury, according to several ophthalmologists.
When you’re celebrating this year and next New Year’s Eve, make sure you take the appropriate precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious injury. However, if you’ve already been injured, you may need to speak to an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney.
Contact us at (414) 455-1639 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation today.