Texas Roads on New Year’s Eve


Listen, if you can help it, don’t drive on New Year’s Eve.

For one, it’s pretty dangerous out there. Parties get out of hand, people wander into the streets, they get behind the wheel after one too many. Plus, if you don’t drive, you can drink all you want! Get an Uber or a cab, take a bus. If you can at all help it, try to limit travel time, and avoid driving.

But, if it can’t be helped, if you’re the designated driver or you work that night or there’s just no other way to get out to your buddy’s party out in the sticks, there’s some things you can do to stay safe and not get caught breaking traffic laws.

Check the Weather Reports

Texas Winters are weird. It’ll be snowing in one town, and you’ll have dry desert heat in the neighboring city. This can lure you into a false sense of security, expecting dry, warm roads, and suddenly skidding across black ice.

Wherever you’re headed, check the weather reports in that area and plan accordingly. Are you going to have to slow down once you get out of Houston? Are there blizzard warnings on the way there?

At the very least, plan ahead so that you know to toss a warm coat in the backseat before you head out. You don’t want to get stuck out in the snowy woods wearing a tank top and cargo shorts.

Don’t Panic on Black Ice!

Your first instinct when your car slips is to slam on the brakes. Do that and you’ll be sliding all around the road like a toboggan. You generally want to do as little as you possibly can on black ice and let your car get through it. Anything you do to mess with the car’s momentum is only going to complicate things. Keep the wheel straight. If you have to shift the wheel, do it very gently, as a sharp turn can send you spinning out. If you’re going to have to cross some black ice,  don’t hit the brakes, slow down by decelerating.

Pretend You’re in A School Zone

If you must drive in hot spots around the city, like downtown, near colleges, bars and so on, you kind of want to treat it like a school zone. You’ve got to be on the lookout for partiers springing out of nowhere and into traffic, especially in the city. If you’re in Houston, people just seem to pop out from behind parked cars like you’re playing Whack-a-Mole. Take it easy if you have to drive in the general vicinity of New Year’s Eve parties.

Drunk-Driving Test Yourself

If you’re not sure whether you’re good to drive, the easiest solution is to just not drive home. But, not everyone is good at making that call. A good way to test yourself: Have your friend move a finger left to right and track your eyeball movement. If your eyes move in a jerky way, you’re drunk, and it’s time to hand the keys over.

If you take a course in defensive driving Houston courts might let you off just paying the court costs when you get a speeding ticket. When it comes to DUI, though, it’s a little trickier. And of course, you don’t want to have to worry about someone getting drunk and wandering into traffic in front of you. Drive safe on New Year’s Eve, and give yourself extra time to get where you’re going.