Stay Safe on the Roads During the Holidays
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but some drivers take the holiday jingle to heart. Did you know, it is reported that alcohol-impaired driving fatalities increase over 25 percent during December and continue at elevated levels through New Year’s Day.
Toss in some snow or ice, a few distracted drivers and an earlier sunset during the winter, and road risks can increase rapidly. The holidays can come with added stress, from last-minute shopping hectic holiday schedules with several festive parties on the same day – it can only add to the distraction. Expect some distracted drivers on the roads. Expect some fatigued drivers as well. It’s a busy time for all of us.
Tips to stay safer on the roadways during the holidays
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed. But an unexpected accident can put a damper on your holiday celebration. Here are some tips to stay safer this holiday season.
- Don’t drink and drive. Alcohol slows reaction time and can impair decision-making ability. Even a small amount of alcohol can lead to an accident you may have avoided when at your best. It’s safer not to drink at all before driving.
- Plan for the weather. Getting caught in a surprise snowstorm or ice storm can put you and others at risk. It’s a hectic time and you want to avoid rushing, especially in a storm. Know the weather forecast before you venture out during the winter holidays and avoid driving if the weather forecast predicts hazardous conditions.
- Get enough rest. Similar to drinking alcohol, fatigue can lead to slowed reaction time behind the wheel. In cases of extreme fatigue, drivers can even fall asleep. Get the rest you need before heading out on the roads.
- Drive defensively. Take precautions while driving and be aware of drivers around you. They may be rushing even if you aren’t. Read the traffic ahead, behind, and to your sides so you can react faster or avoid an unsafe situation caused by other drivers.
- Avoid distractions while driving. Did you know that using your cell phone to text, email, or access social media. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, the CDC has figured out that its like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Safe driving requires your full attention.
If you need to rest during a long trip, find a safe place to rest or hand off driving duty to another trusted driver in the car.
With a bit of forethought and an extra helping of caution, you can help ensure that this holiday season is both safe and enjoyable for you and your family.
Stay safe this season, happy holidays!