5 Safe Driving Tips During the Holidays
According to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration, an estimated 2,295 people die in motor vehicle accidents during major holiday periods. Several factors contribute to this alarming statistic, including heightened traffic volumes, unpredictable changes in weather conditions, and the distractions associated with holiday celebrations. These elements collectively create a riskier environment on the roads, making it essential for travelers to take proactive measures to ensure their safety and the safety of others.
To keep yourself as safe as possible during your holiday travels, follow these five tips:
- Plan your travel dates and times wisely. During the holidays, traffic is heavier than usual as more people are on the roads trying to reach their destinations. If you can arrange it, avoid traveling on peak days, which are typically the days immediately before and immediately after a holiday. No matter when you’re heading out, check regularly for traffic updates and road conditions so you can anticipate any delays and determine the best and safest route.
- Be prepared for changing weather conditions. You may encounter winter weather like snow, ice, or rain during the holiday season. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with proper tires and other equipment, such as tire chains and an ice scraper. If you find yourself caught in inclement weather, reduce your driving speed, turn your hazard lights on, and maintain a safe driving distance from the car in front of you.
- Don’t drink and drive. Holiday festivities often involve alcohol, so plan ahead for a designated driver or an alternate form of transportation like Uber or Lyft if you plan on drinking. If you don’t plan on drinking, you should still be cautious of other drivers who may be impaired. Look out for vehicles that are swerving or behaving erratically and maintain a safe distance from them.
- Stay focused and avoid distractions. The holiday season can become hectic with all the decorations, music, and conversations with family and friends in the car. While these activities are enjoyable, they can be extremely distracting to drivers. It’s important to remember that amidst the holiday spirit, your top priority should be safe driving. Minimize these distractions by keeping your eyes on the road at all times, encouraging passengers to maintain a calm atmosphere, and keeping the radio at a level that allows you to hear important sounds from your surroundings.
- Be well-rested and stay alert. The holiday demands of shopping, decorating, cooking, and entertaining can tire anyone. If you have to travel in the midst of these activities, make sure you’re well-rested before hitting the road. Drivers who prioritize rest enhance their safety as they have more energy and mental alertness to navigate through potential hazards and make wise decisions. If you’re traveling for an extended period of time, consider taking breaks every couple of hours to rest and rejuvenate.
Safety should always be your top priority when driving during the holidays. By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of accidents and arrive at your destinations safely to enjoy celebrating with your loved ones.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Flager & Associates today by calling (215) 953-5200. We provide free case evaluations.
Written by Adam D. Flager, Esq., Associate at Flager & Associates, PC
With his practice focused on litigation, Adam primarily represents clients in personal injury cases, such as motor vehicle, slip and fall, defective products, and construction and worksite accidents. He is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of New Jersey, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit. Adam received his J.D. from Widener University School of Law in 2009, where he graduated with pro-Bono Distinction.