Driving Safely During the Holidays
During the holidays, it seems as though the hustle and bustle of the season are everywhere. People have decorated their homes. Others are shopping for last-minute gifts. Still others are preparing for family gatherings. It is quite literally the busiest time of year, particularly in regards to people traveling. With so many vehicles on the road heading to holiday celebrations, the risk of car accidents increases this time of year. However, there are steps you can take to make sure you get to your destination safely.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Prepare your car for the road trip. Properly install safety seats for children, and pack supplies, such as blankets, flashlights, and cellphones. Before even getting on the road, make sure that your vehicle is ready. For long trips, have a mechanic perform a thorough safety check on your vehicle.
Areas that should be checked by a mechanic include:
- Tire pressure
- Oil levels
- Brake fluids
- The fan belt
- Windshield wipers and fluid
- Headlights and brake lights
Avoid Distracted or Drowsy Driving
Don’t risk your life or the lives of others by driving when distracted or drowsy. Familiarize yourself with the route you will be taking. Have maps and a GPS available, but pull over when you need to learn your route or read directions. Taking scheduled breaks from driving can help you avoid becoming drowsy behind the wheel. If you can, alternate driving with another person.
You should stop driving if you:
- Begin to nod off
- Blink frequently
- Yawn frequently
- Start daydreaming
- Develop a slowed response
- Drift from your lane
Exercise Caution While Driving
In general, it is important to be aware of your duty to drive with reasonable care. Obey speed limits. Keep a safe distance from the car traveling in front of you. Be watchful for other motorists, but pedestrians as well. Children, in particular, are at risk of being injured by negligent drivers since they do not comprehend pending danger the same way as adults do. They are also more likely to be outdoors more often during the holiday season.
Avoid known risks that could lead to accidents. Plan to avoid alcohol before any driving, or make sure that a designated driver or driving service is available if you do consume alcohol. Check that any medications you take will not put you at risk of becoming drowsy behind the wheel. Allow enough time for your trip. Speeding to make good time only puts you and others in danger. Avoid distractions such as arguing with other passengers in the vehicle or changing radio stations. Your focus needs to be on the road and on other vehicles.
The Bottom Line
Nobody wants the holiday interrupted by tragedy. Despite your best efforts, however, if another driver fails to keep safe on the road, you may become involved in an accident. If you are the victim of another driver’s negligence, call the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC today or fill out our online contact form. Compassionate and experienced in personal injury law, the Bottaro Law Firm can help you handle your case and put your mind at ease during this busy holiday season.