Lock Up Before, Sober Up After Partying It Up on New Year’s


calendar-with-payment-date New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve are lucrative for car thieves — and a bummer for those partiers who find their ride gone.

Drunk drivers who get behind the wheel can also expect a bummer of a time, whether it’s because of the accident they might get into or the cop that’ll likely pull them over.

So before turning that last calendar page on 2013, drivers everywhere should heed some theft prevention and sober driving tips, as well as some insurance protection advice about car thefts and drunk driving.

New Year’s Day, Eve Are Peak Days for Car Thefts

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) compiles an annual list of holiday thefts, ranking the number of thefts that occur on each holiday of the year. The reports highlight a trend for car thieves: They are out in full force during New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve.

The NICB’s latest report, based on 2012 figures, showed that New Year’s Day was “the leading holiday for reported vehicle thefts” that year, with 2,228 thefts. New Year’s Eve was the third-highest holiday, with 2,152 thefts.

Theft figures from 2011 didn’t match those from 2012 exactly, but still don’t offer a lot of encouragement to partiers who want to celebrate worry-free.

The NICB said that, in 2011, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve were the holidays with the second- and fifth-highest theft figures, respectively.

“While Americans are enjoying the holidays and time off of work, the holidays are just another day at the shop for vehicle thieves,” the NICB said in its latest newscast.

Drunk Drivers Face Crackdown

Federal crash data show that, over the past decade, nearly 2 out of every 5 deaths that occur around the New Year’s holiday are related to alcohol. In 2012, 830 deaths during the holiday season were linked to drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Authorities wage an annual battle against such scary statistics that intensifies during the holiday season, and 2013 is no different.

This year’s nationwide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is underway until Wednesday, backed by millions in advertising, stiffer penalties for violators, and a familiar face named Robocop.

“It is unacceptable and downright offensive that anyone would get behind the wheel drunk,” David Strickland, NHTSA administrator, said in a statement.

Robocop has simpler words for New Year’s drunkards holding their car keys: “I’d put those down now if I were you.”

Protection, Prevention Tips for Car Thefts, Drunk Driving

There is a simple insurance-related solution that will protect you against instances of car theft: comprehensive coverage.

This optional form of protection, which the Insurance Information Institute says most drivers in the U.S. have, can be relied on when a vehicle is stolen. But there are plenty of prevention tips that can steer a driver clear of that gut-sinking moment when he or she finds their car gone.

The NICB’s four “Layers of Protection” are a big help to drivers who want to ward off thieves.

When it comes to drunk driving, motorists should know exactly what’s in store for them if they get behind that wheel while inebriated: skyrocketing insurance rates. An Online Auto Insurance analysis outlines how badly a DUI violation can ding your wallet.

The NHTSA’s December newsletter contains a number of handy tips that encourages sober driving during the holidays.

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