The holiday season is upon us. As you might suspect, the holidays are, indeed, less safe than typical driving periods. According to a recent study, holidays see, on average, a 34% increase in crashes. Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are even higher. You owe it to yourself, your family, your friends, and even other drivers on the road to dedicate yourself to driving safer during this holiday season.
We’ve compiled a list of holiday safe driving tips to mitigate mishaps and help you enjoy your holidays.
1. Avoid peak travel times.
AAA predicts Thanksgiving travel will be busiest in 12 years. With more travelers comes — you guessed it — more traffic. Travel times could be a whopping four times longer than usual. The worst congestion is expected in the evenings Thanksgiving week.
And the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, avoid if at all possible — it is historically the busiest travel day of the year.
The day before Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas Eve tend to be the busiest travel days so avoid traveling during peak hours.
2. Leave early.
If you’re in a rush, or impose a strict time deadline, you’ll be inclined to drive faster or neglect certain safety standards to meet that deadline. Wake up a little earlier, manage your time, and don’t be afraid to be a little late if it means driving safer.
3. Buckle up.
A seat belt won’t prevent a collision, but it will save a life.
4. Stow your cell phone.
Many distractions exist while driving during the holidays. Cell phones are already top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time each day but during the holiday, it’s even worse.
Almost everyone has seen a driver distracted by a cell phone, but when you are the one distracted, you often don’t realize that driver is you. Keep your phone stowed away so you’re not tempted. It can save your life!
5. Avoid eating while driving.
Everyone is busy during the holidays and everyone enjoys holiday food.
Finishing your breakfast or enjoying a holiday brownie on your way to pick up family from the airport may seem like a time-saver, but it means you are less attentive to the drivers around you. Food spills are a major cause of distraction.
6. Remain alert and awake.
If you feel any deviation in your normal levels of wakefulness or alertness, don’t drive. If you’re tired or distracted, your risk of being in a collision will increase. Don’t push through just because you want to get home faster. If you are drowsy, pull off the road. Even 20 minutes of sleep can help you feel more alert, and prepare you for a safer drive.
7. Avoid alcohol consumption.
This is the season for family get-togethers and company Christmas parties and if you think you might be tempted to let loose with a beverage or two, plan ahead.
Even a couple of drinks—which will likely put you below the legal limit for driving—can instantly double your risk of being involved in a collision. At and above the legal limit (0.08 BAC; 0.02 BAC if you’re under 21), your risk triples.
Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft make it super easy to avoid driving while you’re impaired.
8. Be prepared for an emergency.
If you are involved in an accident, it pays to have an emergency kit ready. This is especially important during winter months, when you’re more likely to be stranded (and when conditions are harsher). Make sure you have emergency flares and lighting, water, jumper cables, and a phone charger or other way to get help.
And finally, practice patience.
The holidays are a time to celebrate and spend time with loved ones. By planning ahead, driving safer and having a little extra patience when out on the road, you can ensure that this holiday season is a safe and happy one with plenty of comfort and joy.
If it’s a truck you wanna buy, you’d better call Dye!
Call us at (303) 286-1665.