The holidays have finally arrived, as people are decking the halls with holiday travel and celebrations, tis' the season for a surge of auto-related accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, there are typically more fatal crashes during the holiday season than during non-holiday months.
There are several contributing factors that can result in more crashes, such as:
- Increased holiday travel
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
Here's how to prevent an accident and drive defensively during the holidays:
Have a Plan
When you are on the go, it's always a good idea to plan your route before you drive, mainly because the holidays bring an influx of drivers on the road. Try to avoid heavily trafficked areas if possible; if not taken with safety precautions, traffic congestion can lead to a fatal crash.
The CDC recommends finding the safest route to drive, one with well-lit streets and accessible parking.
The holidays can be a distracting time of year; if not careful, it could result in a fatal car accident. In 2018, approximately 2,800 people died, and roughly 400,000 were injured in crashes due to a distracted driver.
To avoid distractions on the road, stay alert by refraining from using your electronic devices; this can ensure your safety by giving your full attention to the road and the other drivers.
Don't Drink and Drive
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2018, during the period between Christmas and New Year's, there were approximately 285 impaired driving-related fatalities. Drunk driving incidents tend to spike during the holidays; it's crucial to protect yourself and the other drivers on the road by not getting behind the wheel if you have been drinking.
If you are drinking, plan accordingly by taking an alternative route home, such as Uber, Lyft, or a taxi service.
Get Regular Car Inspections
This time of year can be hectic; some car owners may skip regular maintenance, which can have the potential to lead to a devastating incident. It's crucial to avoid a mechanical-related crash by taking these safety measures for your vehicle:
- Schedule regular oil changes.
- Check tire pressure and tread.
- Address warning lights on your vehicle's dashboard.
- Check your brakes and change them when necessary.
Practice Defensive Driving
As a driver, it’s your responsibility to protect yourself and the other drivers on the road. Here's how to follow safe driving practices:
- Follow the rules of the road
- Obey traffic signs and signals
- Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles
- Avoid speeding