The holiday season can be one of the most dangerous times on the road due to the increase in drunk driving and poor weather conditions. Coupled with a global pandemic and widespread worry, American roads are more dangerous than ever.
As many opt for road trips rather than spending time on an airplane this upcoming holiday season, roads may be even busier. Before you finalize plans to hit the road this holiday season, read the 5 tips below to prevent car accidents.
Obey Speed Limits
Speeding is not only illegal, but is also incredibly dangerous. “Driving faster than the posted speed limits is a major factor in serious injury accidents,” note the car accident lawyers at Connolly Brennan Ralabate, PC, “other reckless actions include racing and tailgating.”
Lockdowns due to COVID-19 have caused an increase in pedestrians and bicyclists. Obeying speed limits can allow ample time to recognize pedestrians in crosswalks and jaywalkers. Following the speed limit can also provide a driver ample time to brake to prevent a collision.
Never Drink and Drive
The holiday season includes Christmas and New Years’ Eve, which are often considered heavy drinking holidays. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 285 drunk-driving-related fatalities during the New Year’s and Christmas periods in 2018.
If you plan on drinking, arrange for a safe ride to and from your location. Opt for a sober driver or schedule a ride using a ridesharing app. If you see a friend or family member attempting to drive impaired, take away their keys and make arrangements to get them home safely.
Put Distractions Away
Mobile devices, navigation systems, climate controls, and music are just a few of the many different types of distractions that can plague a driver. Setting up directions and adjusting your car’s cabin to the proper temperature prior to putting your car in “drive” can help keep your eyes on the road.
If you are driving with other passengers, ask them to help with distracting tasks, such as changing the song or confirming directions. It is also important to know that while passengers are often great co-pilots, they can also be distractions. Speak up if your passengers are engaging in distracting behaviors.
Plan Your Route
Whether you’re driving an hour away or doing a cross-country trip, planning your route can reduce your chance of a car accident. Mapping out where you plan to stop can help keep you alert and focused. Ideally, you should stop every two hours to stretch your legs.
Planning your route can also make your road trip more exciting! Designating where to stop, such as different landmarks and restaurants, can make a road trip much more exciting than simply going from point A to point B. You never know what you may find!
Get Your Car Inspected
Prior to any road trip, it’s a good idea to check all car vitals. Ensure you have adequate oil and that brakes are functioning properly. Consider taking your car to a trusted repair shop to ensure everything is functioning properly. If you are driving in snow, ensure you have tire chains. Check your air pressure in your tires and consider replacing tires if the tread is worn.
Driving Safe During the Holidays
2020 has been a year unlike any other, but by prioritizing safety, everyone can work together to create a better future for all. Regardless of where your holiday season takes you, always put road safety first. By following these 5 actionable tips to prevent a holiday car accident, you can ensure the road is as safe as possible.