6 Tips to Avoid Car Accidents During the Holidays
The holiday season is here, which means plenty of time and opportunity to celebrate with friends and family. While the holidays may mean more events, gatherings, and time for vacation, it also means more risks on public roads and highways. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that holidays, as well as the days and weekends surrounding them, are among the most dangerous time on American roads. This includes Christmas and New Year’s.
If you and your loved ones plan to enjoy the holidays by getting out and about, visiting loved ones, or taking a road trip, our legal team at the Law Offices of Adam Baron want to remind you that safety should always be a top priority when you get behind the wheel. To help you avoid car accidents this holiday season, we have put together a list of some important tips:
- Avoid distractions – Distracted driving is leading a surge in roadway fatalities across the nation. While all forms of distraction are dangerous when they take place behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, text messaging and cell phone use are the most concerning. That’s because using your phone to read, enter text, or access applications commands multiple forms of your attention (visual, manual, and cognitive), and can increase crash risks by up to 23 times, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Make the pledge to avoid distractions and concentrate on your surroundings any time you drive.
- Drive sober – Holidays are for vacation, celebrations, and events, many of which involve alcohol. Because of this, the holidays see substantial spikes in alcohol-related auto accidents, injuries, and deaths. As a driver, it is your obligation to take reasonable steps in safely operating your vehicle. Driving under the influence is not reasonable in any away. Not only does it place others around you in danger, it can also result in criminal penalties. Remember, law enforcement is on high alert to get drunk drivers off the road during the holiday season.
- Be prepared – If you are heading out for a longer ride or road trip this winter, being prepared can help reduce risks of preventable wrecks. This includes knowing where you’re going, planning ahead to avoid holiday traffic, getting plenty of rest to avoid fatigue, inspecting your vehicle, and preparing for poor weather, including rain, snow, and icy roads.
- Be careful of driving tired – Holidays can be busy, which means there are greater chances that drivers on the road are tired or fatigued. As studies have shown, driving tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Even missing a couple hours of sleep can result in crash risks equivalent to having a BAC level above the DUI legal limit. If you’re driving or planning longer trips, be sure to get plenty of rest and take breaks when driving long distances. You can also make plans to stay the night somewhere to ensure you’re well rested for the drive back, or make plans to switch off with another, more rested driver when needed.
- Watch your speed – During the holidays, public roads see more cars on the road, many of which may be operated by out-of-town drivers who aren’t familiar with local roads or traffic laws, as well as more drunk and impaired motorists. Protect yourself from unexpected driving maneuvers and sudden stops by driving at a safe speed. This includes reducing your speed appropriately in various conditions, such as increased traffic, construction zones, and when weather or roadway conditions are poor.
- Follow at a safe distance – Statistics show rear-end collisions are the most common traffic collision on our roads. To help avoid them, make sure you follow the vehicle in front of you at a safe distance, allowing plenty of time for you to respond when motorists suddenly stop, turn, or change lanes. This is especially important during the holidays, when more vehicles can make for stop and go traffic.
Taking steps to be extra vigilant and prepared when driving during the holidays is important, but it does not eliminate all risks of traffic accidents, especially when others on the road are negligent. Fortunately, victims injured in car wrecks caused by negligent drivers have a right to hold those drivers accountable, and to seek a financial recovery of their damages, including any medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering that resulted. The Law Offices of Adam Baron has been helping victims across Coral Springs and the surrounding areas of Florida protect that right for over 25 years, and we are available to help any victims and families who suffer harm in preventable wrecks during the holidays.
To discuss a potential case during a FREE consultation, contact us today.