The holidays are a time for celebration with loved ones, but it is also the most dangerous time of year to be on the road. The winter months typically correlate with higher traffic fatalities due to hazardous driving conditions. From slippery roads to increased drunk driving incidents, there are many dangers that drivers need to be aware of this holiday season in order to stay safe.
In this blog post, we will discuss tips that you can implement into your daily life in order to help keep yourself and others safe during these treacherous winter months!
Driving during the holidays presents a number of unique challenges. As a result, the number of traffic accidents and fatalities is very high during this period. Car accident lawyers are in high demand because of this.
This increase is caused by a variety of reasons ...
First, you will need to take into account the fact that many people are traveling this time of year. For example, there is typically a spike in traffic fatalities on Thanksgiving and Christmas due to high volumes of travelers being out on the road at once.
Second, it is important for drivers not to underestimate how much extra caution they will have to take when driving during these colder months. The roads may seem safe enough because most cars are equipped with winter tires, but any amount of precipitation can cause dangerous conditions if motorists are not careful behind the wheel. So even though your vehicle might be able to drive through the snow with non-winter tires, ice still poses serious threats for motorists who don't maintain their vehicles to the safest levels.
Here are some ways that you can help stay safe on the road ...
Be Aware Of Weather-Related Challenges
One of the biggest dangers drivers face during the winter months is road conditions. Wet, icy, or snowy roads can lead to accidents and fatalities if drivers are not cautious. Make sure you are aware of weather forecasts before hitting the road and be prepared for any sudden changes in weather that may occur. If possible, avoid driving during severe weather conditions.
If you must drive in bad weather, make sure your vehicle is properly equipped. Keep an ice scraper and snow brush in your car so you can clear your windshield and windows quickly if they become covered with snow or ice. Also, be sure to have a full tank of gas in case you get stranded on the side of the road – don't let your fuel level drop below half a tank in the winter months!
If You Are Drinking, Don't Drive
Planning an event for the holidays where alcohol will be served? Make a plan with your friends and family to ensure everyone gets home safe! Whether you are hosting or attending a party, designate someone as the "designated driver" – this person should abstain from drinking during the festivities so they can safely drive those who have been consuming alcoholic beverages.
Be smart about driving home after any holiday parties that include alcohol consumption. Don't let yourself become another statistic of drunk driving accidents – instead, make sure you always have a designated sober driver when going out for drinks on nights before work or school.
While it is best to avoid drinking and driving altogether, sometimes things come up unexpectedly (you need to pick up some last-minute items at the store, a friend needs help getting home). If you find yourself in this situation, call a taxi or Uber to get home safely.
Stay Vigilant On The Road And Avoid Distractions
It's important to keep your eyes on the road at all times – being distracted while driving has been a leading cause of car accidents for years. No matter how long you have been driving or what type of vehicle you are in, never take your focus off the road – even if it is just for a second! Avoid texting and talking on the phone while behind the wheel, as these activities can lead to serious traffic violations such as speeding tickets, reckless operation charges (speeding), hit-and-run collisions, and more.
If you must make or receive calls or texts when you're out and about this holiday season, pull over into a parking lot before doing so. It takes only one momentary lapse in attention for an accident to occur, so make sure you are completely focused when driving.
Even If You Aren't Drinking Watch For Distracted and Impaired Drivers
The holidays are a time when drivers can become distracted by all the excitement and festivities going on around them. From people who are not paying attention while driving to cars that are swerving in and out of lanes, it is important to stay alert while behind the wheel. Avoid using your phone while driving (even if you're just texting or checking Facebook) and keep your focus on the road ahead of you.
If someone appears to be driving unsafely or erratically, do not hesitate to call 911 to report the. By being proactive about reporting dangerous drivers you can help make the roads safer for everyone.
Holidays Can Be Stressful, Don't Take It On The Road With You
The holidays are a time for spending with friends and family, but they can also be stressful. You may find yourself rushing around to get everything done that needs to get done (holiday shopping, cooking meals ahead of time, etc.) which can leave you feeling exhausted by the end of the day. Don't let stress take over your life – instead, try taking some deep breaths before getting behind the wheel or making sure you're not driving while stressed out or sleep-deprived (you need all your wits about you when operating heavy machinery like an automobile).
If needed, make plans in advance with loved ones so someone is always available to give you a ride home if fatigue sets it on the road trip home from holiday festivities.