6 Tips For Driving Safe This Holiday Season
Everybody should remain cautious and practice defensive driving each time they get behind the wheel. However, there are certain times of the year where driving could be more dangerous. This is particularly true around the December and January holiday season. Data shows that vehicle accidents cause serious injuries and death peak around Christmas and New Year’s. Here, our car crash lawyers in Nashville discuss six tips for operating a vehicle safely this holiday season.
1. Plan Your Trip Ahead
If you are taking a trip anywhere over longer distances, you need to plan ahead. Are you taking a trip to see family in the next state? Make sure you know your route ahead of time. Additionally, check the weather conditions for your area, along the driving route, and at your final destination before you start your trip. If you expect to encounter any winter weather, particularly if you are traveling northward, make sure you are prepared for this type of situation. Driving in the snow and ice is much different.
2. Stay Alert At All Times
We encourage you to make sure you are well rested before you take a long drive. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that a significant number of injuries and fatalities in roadway collisions over the last decade have been caused by fatigue behind the wheel. Make sure you plan your trip so that you can take regular breaks and share driving responsibilities if necessary.
3. Slow Down
One of the leading causes of accidents, traffic fatalities, and traffic deaths is speeding. It is crucial that you pay attention to the speed limit and not drive faster than conditions permit. If there are rainy or wintry conditions on the roadway, then you need to operate your vehicle below the posted speed limit.
4. Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving is incredibly important, regardless of what type of weather or traffic you may find yourself in. Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate the actions of other drivers before they make them. Give yourself enough space from the vehicle in front of you to properly react if they have to come to a sudden stop.
5. Do Not Operate While Impaired
An unfortunate reality of the holiday season is that individuals tend to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of the vehicle more often than normal. Just because it is a holiday does not make impaired driving any safer. If you are going to enjoy alcoholic beverages during this holiday season, we encourage you to have a designated driver in place or make use of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft.
6. Avoid Distractions
It is crucial that you avoid distractions when you are behind the wheel of the vehicle. A distraction is anything that takes your mind off of driving, your eyes off the roadway, or your hands off of the steering wheel. Some of the most common distractions include talking or texting on a cell phone, browsing social media, taking videos or photographs with a device, talking to others in the vehicle, eating or drinking behind the wheel, and more. Avoid these distractions, and you will significantly increase your chances of arriving at your destination safely.