Happy New Year!

Party hats and confetti left over from a New Year's Eve celebration

The new year is a time for reflecting on the year that passed and for setting priorities for the year ahead. It’s also a time for celebration.

Most of our readers work in safety in some capacity—from full-time safety professionals to folks who have safety-related tasks among many other duties. For most of you, there’s no need to be reminded that New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year. It’s also the holiday with the highest percentage of fatalities caused by alcohol, with 46% of deaths on December 31 related to intoxication.

But don’t think that alcohol is the only thing that can increase the risk of a fatal car crash - fatigue from a late-night party and the many distractions of the season are also factors that people often don’t even realize are significant, very real dangers.

Many people get caught up in festivities and think they can drive safely, or forget to be on the lookout for others’ unsafe behavior.

So for the last time in 2015, do what you can to  encourage employees, friends and family to celebrate safely. And if you’re hosting a holiday party, prepare to put guests in cabs at the end of the night or plan for people to stay over if necessary.

And finally, spare a moment to congratulate yourself on working hard to keep others safe all year.

From everyone at SafeStart, here’s to a safe and happy New Year’s Eve celebration!