Holiday Driving – Car Accidents and the Holidays
While the holiday season may be the jolliest time of year, it can also be the most dangerous for those on the road, with statistics showing that car accidents surge over the holiday periods.
The rise in traffic accidents is contributed to intoxicated drivers, more drivers on the road in unfamiliar places, long-distance and nighttime driving, and poor weather for winter holidays. Whatever the reasons for the increase in car accidents around Christmas, New Year’s, and other popular Federal holidays, consciously operating one’s vehicle with a high level of care at all times of the year is important. Here are some tips for safe holiday driving to avoid a car accident this season.
Plan Your Route
If you will be traveling to the home of a friend or family member who lives a significant distance from your current abode, make sure you plan your route in advance. The route planning should include:
- Seeking knowledge of any road closures, car accidents day of, expected bad weather, etc.;
- How many hours you’ll drive per day;
- Where you will stop for gas, lodging, food, etc.;
- When you’ll change drivers; and
- What route you’ll take – remember that taking the fastest route isn’t always the safest route. If you expect traffic to be crazy on your planned route, you may consider an alternate.
Prepare for Longer Trips
With the holidays upon us, many people are about to embark on long road trips. Whether traveling within your state or across the country to visit family, it’s essential to keep safety in mind. Make sure you have a fully charged cell phone, extra batteries, and a cell phone charger in case of emergencies on road trips. Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are great for keeping everyone happy but avoid foods that can spoil.
If you’re traveling with children, make sure you have car seats for everyone who needs them in cars, minivans or pick-ups with extended cabs. For long trips, it’s an astute idea to take some entertainment items with you, such as books or even simple card games for children.
Be Mindful of Driver Fatigue
Whether you’re driving 100 miles or 10 miles this holidays season, driver fatigue is something that you should be aware of and avoid. Driver fatigue refers to a driver getting behind the wheel after not getting enough sleep, either chronically or even after a single night. Driver fatigue is extremely dangerous; studies show that driving while fatigued may be as dangerous as driving while drunk. The holidays can be very stressful and chaotic, and if sleep is eluding you as such, don’t get behind the wheel. And even if you feel great and are sleeping, make sure you have another driver to trade off with if you’ll be driving a long distance.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Whether you’ll be driving in Louisville, another part of Kentucky, or another part of the country where snow and ice are a possibility, you want to make sure that your vehicle is maintained and in good shape should bad weather hit. This means ensuring you’re using snow tires if necessary, changing our your windshield wiper blades, and topping off all of your fluids. Even if bad weather isn’t a concern, keeping your vehicle well-maintained helps reduce the risk of a breakdown or accident, keeping you safer.
Get Control of Road Rage
Despite the fact that the holiday seasons is meant to be one of comfort and joy, let’s face it: holidays can be stressful. And with the increase in traffic over the holiday season, your blood may be boiling when you get behind the wheel and are met with less-than-ideal driving situations, like traffic, careless and aggressive drivers, and car accidents leading to road closures.
These things can certainly be frustrating, but giving into road rage can be dangerous. Road rage leads to acts of aggressive driving like speeding, swerving, and tailgating, all of which increase the risk of an accident.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Finally, don’t make the mistake of drinking and driving this holiday season. If you plan to drink at home or at a holiday get-together, make sure you have a sober ride.
Contact the Law Offices of John H. Ruby & Associates Right Away
Being involved in a crash is the last thing that you want to think about this season. We hope that your holidays are accident-free, and that the tips for safe holiday driving listed above help.
If you are involved in a crash, our Kentucky car accident lawyers at the offices of John H. Ruby & Associates will be here to represent you. We know that even the safest drivers in the world are sometimes the victims of others’ negligence, and want to ensure you recover every penny you deserve if you’ve been hurt. Please visit our law firm today, call us at 502-895-2626, or send us an email to schedule your free consultation today.