Navigating the Festive Roads: Driving Safely in the Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time for joy and being together, but it also often means more cars will be on the road. During this time, people will be taking trips, and traveling to visit family and friends. It is an exciting time for anyone, especially after a long year. However, with more people out traveling, you may be more prone to accidents and may be worrying about staying safe while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more car accidents in the holiday season than there are in other times of the year. They claimed that in 2017, the average number of accidents a day was 102 accidents while the holiday season averaged about 119 accidents a day, reminding us the importance of driving safely, especially during the holiday season.

Several factors contribute to this increase in accidents, including:

More Traffic: During the holidays, lots of people are traveling to see their family or take a break from their regular, daily lives. This means there are more cars on the road whether they are families on a trip or ridesharing cars taking tourists or visitors around. With more cars around, the possibility of accidents is increased. 

Not Paying Attention: With all the holiday excitement, it’s easy to get distracted while driving. Checking messages on your phone or dealing with kids in the back can take your focus away from the road, which makes accidents more likely. According to the car accident lawyers of Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC, many accidents happen due to distractions whether it is minor distractions like loud music or major distractions like using your phone. So, be sure to not get distracted when driving for the holidays.

Drunk Driving: Holiday parties often have alcohol, and some people might feel like they can still drive even after having a few drinks. But alcohol or drugs can make it hard to think and react, so this is a big reason why accidents happen during the holidays. When you drive drunk, your ability to sense danger or be safe is lowered, and could cause a potentially fatal accident.

Bad Weather: The winter season can bring snow, ice, and fog, which can be tough for drivers. Slippery roads, poor grip, and limited vision make it easier for accidents to happen, especially for people who aren’t used to driving in these conditions. Understanding how to drive in bad weather can help lessen an accident.

Tips for Driving Safely in the Holiday Season

To make sure you have a safe and happy holiday season, it’s really important to focus on being careful when you’re driving. Here are six important things to remember so you can feel more confident while driving during the holidays:

  1. Plan Ahead: Before you start your trip, check the weather and road conditions to know what to expect. Plan your route carefully and think about other ways to go if something unexpected happens. If you’re going a long way, take breaks so you don’t get too tired.
  2. Stay Focused: Don’t let anything distract you while you’re driving. Put your phone away, don’t try to do too many things at once, and only talk to people in the car when it’s safe. If you need to change the radio or use your GPS, pull over somewhere safe first.
  3. Don’t Drink and Drive: Alcohol and drugs can make it really hard to drive safely. If you’ve had anything to drink, ask someone who hasn’t to drive, or use a taxi or ride-sharing service. Even a little bit of alcohol can make it hard to think and react, so it’s best not to drive at all if you’ve been drinking.
  4. Don’t Go Too Fast: Going too fast is a big reason why accidents happen, especially during the holidays when there are more cars around. Stick to the speed limit, and go slower if the weather is bad or there’s a lot of traffic. Going slower gives you more time to react if something unexpected happens.
  5. Be Ready for Anything: Try to think about what might happen on the road and what other drivers might do. Keep a good distance from the car in front of you, use your turn signals to show what you’re doing, and be careful of places where you can’t see other cars. Keep an eye on what’s happening all around you.
  6. Stay Calm: The holidays often mean there’s more traffic and you might get stuck for a while. Try to be patient and not get too annoyed or drive aggressively. Remember, it’s better to be late than to get into a crash. Stay relaxed, pay attention, and be polite to other drivers. That way, everyone can have a safer and nicer time on the road.

By keeping these tips in mind and making sure to drive carefully, you can help make this holiday season safer and more fun for you, your family, and everyone else on the road. Remember, staying safe is the most important thing, and being careful while driving can go a long way in ensuring a pleasant and worry-free time for everyone. So, take your time, be aware of your surroundings, and enjoy the holiday season to the fullest!

Author: Brandon Park