What Should I Do if I Plan to Drive for the Holidays?

Travel safety is critical throughout the year and even more so during holiday travel. More people usually take to the road this time of year. With the increase in traffic, auto accidents are likely to occur, but with careful planning and a focus on safety, everyone can do their part to reduce the risk of an increase in accidents during holiday travel.

When most people think about the holidays, they usually don’t think of injuries. The holidays more commonly bring to mind bountiful dinners and family and friends getting together. However, along with holiday get-togethers comes more travel upon the roadways. With more travel, the likelihood of accidents increases. During the holidays, more drivers are on the road and so anyone planning to be on the road should be aware of the increased risks.

What Contributes to Holiday Travel Car Accidents?

The dangers of holiday travel are hard to ignore. Why are there so many accidents during the holidays? Multiple factors add to unsafe travel conditions around the holidays, including:

Increase in Overall Traffic: One of the biggest factors in roadway safety is the number of people on the roads. While summer is typically considered to be the peak travel season, the holidays are usually the busiest days for travel. Many Americans take to the road to visit family and friends for the holidays, and some even travel to multiple destinations. With a dramatic increase in local and long-distance vehicular travel, city streets and highways become crowded, and the risk for accidents goes up considerably.

Drunk Driving: It is undisputed that the holidays are popular times for drinking. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly common for people to engage in heavy drinking during the holidays. If you plan to drink then you should arrange for a designated driver who does not drink alcohol at all.

Weather Conditions: The weather during the end-of-year holidays can vary greatly by year and location. There is no guarantee of poor driving conditions but winter weather can become a great safety concern towards year’s end. Snow and ice can be deadly when it comes to traveling by car, SUV or truck. So before traveling, one should check the weather and plan ahead.

Holiday Travel Safety Tips

Understanding the risks is an important first step to safe travel, but taking action is just as important. Following these steps can reduce the likelihood of a car crash:

Plan Ahead: Being prepared is essential when traveling. Make sure that your vehicle is in safe operating condition. Badly worn tires or malfunctioning brakes can lead to an accident or make one more catastrophic. In addition, it is a good idea to pack emergency supplies just in case things do not go according to plan. Items such as bottled water, emergency blankets and flares can be extremely helpful in the event of a breakdown or other emergency.

Pay Attention to the Weather: Weather-related traffic accidents are not uncommon and can cause extreme damage to autos. Icy roadway conditions can make road travel hazardous; storms can impact visibility and any bad weather can catch drivers off guard if they’re not prepared. In preparing for a long drive you should check the weather along the route you plan to travel. Conditions can vary a great deal from one location to another and the last thing you wants on a long road trip is to drive into a snowstorm that you didn’t anticipate.

Avoid Distractions: Distracted driving is deadly. Car accidents caused by texting and driving are all too common, and this is not the only type of distraction that can result in a crash. Be sure to focus on the road rather than electronic devices, reading materials, or other passengers in the car.

Reduce Stress: Travel can be stressful. Remember to stay well-rested, make stops during long trips and focus your attention on driving safe and making it to your destination safely.

If a car accident does happen, a victim may have legal options available to them. After a collision, a victim should contact a lawyer to start a personal injury action if injured. Contact our office today!