As the holiday season approaches, millions of our friends and neighbors will head out on the roads to visit family. It is a joyous time of year. As the number of people on the roads increases, so too does the number of accidents.
It is not simply the increase in traffic that leads to additional casualties. It is that people are driving for more extended periods than they are accustomed to, fatigue sets in, and they are driving in less familiar areas. Poor weather also plays a role. When all of these factors occur at the same time, it can be deadly. Be sure to take precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.
Here are five tips for safe travel during the holidays from Hankey Marks & Crider. In addition to the following, always make sure everyone is secured safely with a seatbelt. The National Highway Transportation Safety Board maintains that buckling up is the most certain way to save lives.
Do Not Drive While You Are Impaired
According to the Center for Disease Control and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, there is one death every 50 minutes in the United States because of an impaired driver. Remember, impairment includes alcohol, but not just alcohol. It can mean impairment by any drug, including prescription drugs. If you are going to be driving on a long trip, it is always a good idea to double-check your medications with your pharmacist.
Do not put yourself, your loved ones, or others at risk. If you are impaired, use a taxi service, designated driver, or rideshare to ensure everyone gets home safely.
Do Not Drive While Distracted
Distracted driving can result in a type of impairment as your reaction time slows while you read a text or post on social media. Driving requires your full attention. If you must use your cell phone, make sure it is in a hands-free way. If you need to adjust your GPS, then pull safely off the road and park before doing so. It is far better to miss an exit than cause a car wreck.
Always Make Sure Children Are Secured Safely
When traveling with children, it is essential to double-check the fitness of their car seats. Double-check that it is the right size for your child. Also, ensure that you installed it correctly. Child seats have proven to be highly effective, but you must use them properly. Of course, we all know this, but we all fall into routines. A holiday trip is a good time to double-check everything with the car seat.
The Center for Disease Control has created a checklist to help you avoid the most common mistakes with car seats.
Know Your Route
Distracted driving is not solely the result of modern technology. When drivers, who have driven for a longer period than they are accustomed to, do not know their route, they too become distracted. It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with your route in the days before your travel. It is also good to have a plan in place if you lose your way. That plan should always include safely stopping the vehicle and reorienting yourself before proceeding. It is always better to be late and safe.
Know the Weather
Inclement weather is typical during the holiday season. It can delay travel and make road conditions unsafe. It may also require you to have additional equipment – such as chains or snow tires. Plan ahead for these events by checking the weather before your trip and during your stops. Even heavy rainstorms may mean you’ll need to pull over or off the road. If you take the time to prepare for these events, then you will make the safest and best decisions for yourself and your loved ones when they occur.
If You Suffered an Injury During Your Holiday Travel, Call Us for a Free Evaluation Today
At Hankey Marks & Crider, we want everyone to enjoy safe holiday travel. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If you or a loved one suffered an injury during your holiday travel, contact us today to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer that will protect your rights. Your initial consultation is always free.
We will evaluate your case, assess your damages, and answer all of your questions. After an accident, you need peace of mind. At Hankey Marks & Crider, we will not rest until you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
Related reading: How to Prevent Autumn Motorcycle Accidents