Road Accidents: Tips to Avoid Accidents This Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! At least, it’s supposed to be. But with more cars on the road and more distractions inside those cars, it’s easy to lose focus when driving. Every year, thousands of people are involved in traffic accidents during the holiday season.
Road accidents During the Holiday Season
Road accidents are prevalent during the holiday season. When the holiday and winter season arrives, many people pack their cars tightly with gifts and travel to visit family. The roads can get congested with other drivers driving too fast or are tired from a long trip. This can lead to an accident.
The best way to avoid getting in a car crash this holiday season is to stay alert and always drive defensively. Consult a personal injury attorney if you are involved in an accident. Injured and need legal help? Click here and find the best personal injury lawyer in Irvine, CA.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said that at least 2,880 people were killed in traffic accidents between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2020. The NHTSA said that the number is an 8 percent increase over the 2,678 fatalities recorded in 2019 during the same period. It appears that there was an increase in crashes involving drunk drivers during the 2020 holiday season compared to 2019. According to NHTSA, 796 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities were recorded in 2020 compared to 678 deaths in 2019.
Holiday Road Safety Tips
AAA estimates that 48 million Americans will travel this upcoming holiday season. During this time, road safety should be a top priority for all motorists. Here are some tips for road safety:
Avoid using your phone or eating while you are driving as it can lead to car accidents. When you are hungry or want to eat while driving, stop at a rest area before getting back on the highway.
Stay focused on the road and off your cell phone. Driving while distracted can get you prone to accidents, injuries, and even death. When on the road, make sure that you’re focused on the road and not on texting, talking on your cell phone, or checking your email or Facebook account.
Avoid Being Late
Plan your route so that you won’t be rushing to get somewhere. Leave early and give yourself extra time just in case there’s traffic or a roadblock.
The greatest danger of being late is that you rush on the road, which increases the risk of a car accident. Late for work is not an acceptable excuse for an accident caused by not paying attention to the road, so you will have to pay for any damages.
Make sure to always check the time while driving and try not to wait till the last minute to leave. This helps you avoid speeding and other reckless driving practices, which are all big problems on the road today.
If you’re traveling a long distance, leave yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. If you’re going to be driving through routes you are not familiar with, leave extra room for potential delays like traffic jams and accidents.
Also, if you’re going somewhere unfamiliar, give yourself spare time if you need to find somewhere to stop along the way or take a bathroom break. And always allow extra time for unexpected events like road closures or getting lost.
Don’t drink and drive
Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination. If you have had even one alcoholic drink, your ability to drive has been compromised. Even one alcoholic drink can impair your judgment and coordination, reducing your ability to react quickly enough to avoid an accident or control the vehicle in an emergency.
The risk is significantly increased if you have more than one drink. The risk of injury or death increases with each alcoholic beverage you consume. So if you are going out for the evening, don’t try to get behind the wheel after drinking. If you drink, have a designated driver or arrange for a taxi to take you home.
Road Accidents: Buckle up
You can’t predict when an accident will happen, but you can protect yourself and your loved ones in one easy step: buckle up. Buckling up is the easiest way to save your life. Studies show that people who buckle up are 45% less likely to die in a car crash than those who don’t buckle up. Restraints save 13,000 lives each year and prevent countless more injuries.
Make sure everyone in your car is buckled up. Seat belts may seem like an unnecessary annoyance to kids and teens, but it’s the law in every state. It’s also the simplest way to save your life if you get into an accident. Kids under 13 should be in the back seat and use a booster seat until they’re big enough to fit in a regular seat belt safely.
Get enough rest before driving
Get a good night’s sleep before your trip, and try not to travel too close to bedtime if possible, as driver fatigue is a significant cause of road accidents.
Studies have shown that driving just five hours past bedtime can make a driver as impaired as someone with a blood-alcohol level of .05 percent, which is the legal limit for driving in some states. When you’re tired, your reaction time slows, you take longer to brake, and you experience more difficulty judging distances between vehicles and between vehicles and other objects.
One way to help reduce fatigue on the road is to get an adequate amount of sleep before your trip. Don’t set out on a long trip if you know you’re going to be too tired to drive safely. If possible, try to plan your trip during daylight hours when it’s easier to stay awake and alert. And don’t drive close to bedtime if possible since it can make you sleepy on the road.
Check the weather
Prepare for the worst weather conditions that could occur during your trip. Remember that it is not only rain and snow that can create dangerous road conditions but also fog, which can make it difficult to see. Check the weather reports for the day(s) of your trip and plan accordingly. Prepare for delays and leave extra time for unexpected delays.
When driving in bad weather, remember that your vehicle’s brakes can become wet and less responsive. To slow down or stop on wet surfaces, allow for twice as much distance between you and the car in front of you and leave more time for braking. If there is snow on the ground or driving in the rain, make sure to drive slowly to avoid hydroplaning.
When you’re out on the road this holiday season, be sure that your vehicle is well-maintained. Having an older car can increase your chances of having an accident due to faulty parts or mechanical issues.
Make sure that your brakes are working correctly before heading out on the road. Replace Worn Tires During the Holidays In addition to your brakes, always make sure that your tires are in good condition before hitting the road. You don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road due to a flat tire!
Road Accidents: Conclusion
The holidays will be here before we know it, which means that it’s time for everyone to start planning their upcoming holiday breaks. One major problem is well known: the number of cars on the roads.
If you don’t want to risk being caught up in a holiday-time accident, then you should plan ahead. Keep your eyes open for problems, and make sure that your vehicle is in good condition to help prevent any issues from arising on the roads (especially around the holidays).
Author Brett Sachs
Brett Sachs, partner & principal attorney at MVP Accident Attorneys, graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors and worked for an insurance defense firm before starting his practice. Brett has evaluated thousands of personal injury cases and has helped his clients receive the justice they deserve. https://themvp.com/attorneys/brett-sachs/