Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the start of a new year are without a doubt the times when most people will be traveling to visit family and friends. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, millions of Americans will be on the road and inevitably there will be more collisions throughout the holiday season. However, there are ways to prepare and ensure your family arrives safely to your destinations.
In a survey conducted to find out how many adults are planning to travel during the holiday season which runs from November to just after the new year, 63% of all Americans said they will be commuting for at least one of the major holidays. That is roughly 161 million adults. Many of these people will be driving to see friends and family for both Christmas and New Years.
There are many factors to consider when preparing for a safe long distance trip, especially during a stressful season that may include celebrations where there may be alcohol involved or weather with snowy or icy conditions. Here are some of the most common car accident risks during the holidays.
Busy Roads and HIghway Congestion
As you already know, there is an expectation that more vehicles will be on the road during the holiday season than any other time. People are visiting with their loved ones, doing their Christmas shopping, and going to seasonal activities and celebrations. You can avoid some of the stress of busy roads, by giving yourself just a few extra minutes to get where you’re going.
Drunk driving accidents usually increase during the holidays. That’s because more people are attending get-togethers that offer alcoholic beverages as a way to help celebrate. Not only do drinking accidents increase, but so do your chances of being pulled over and fined for driving under the influence.
Be alert for drunk drivers and if you plan to drink yourself, have a designated driver or call an Uber to avoid getting in an accident. A qualified attorney is always your best option if you do find yourself in an alcohol-induced accident, but proactive safety steps are what help save lives.
Understandably, the holiday season adds quite a bit of pressure to everyone’s lives. Shopping for the perfect gift, buying decorations and food for parties and gatherings, as well as traveling to a bunch of places in such a short amount of time can cause people to become stressed out and distracted. Watch out for other people who might be experiencing road rage, and try to keep yourself calm when you’re behind the wheel.
In some locations, weather isn’t a huge issue during the holidays. However, other areas of the country might be experiencing heavy rains, ice, snow, or even worse. Always check the weather forecast before you start your road trip for adverse or inclement weather. Unnecessary driving during dangerous conditions can add to an already stressful situation, as well as cause more traffic accidents.
Prepare Your Vehicle
If you’re traveling long distances away from home, the last thing you want to do is deal with a flat tire or bad brakes. Having a routine check up done right before you start your trip will likely keep those avoidable vehicle malfunctions that could result in a deadly accident. Even if you’re pressed for time, a routine maintenance check is well worth it and can provide you with peace of mind.