Driving over the holidays is considerably riskier than it is throughout the year. This post will tackle some holiday driving hazards and their control measures.
Think of dangerous weather and road conditions, including snow, ice, fog, and decreased visibility.
Furthermore, there may be an increase in the number of intoxicated or tired drivers on the road and drivers who are stressed by the holidays and are thinking about matters other than driving.
The following tips can help you and your passengers drive more safely this holiday season.
Here Are the Holiday Driving Hazards
Every year, most fatal car accidents in the United States are related to alcohol usage. Compared to other periods of the year, significant holidays typically show a rise in traffic fatalities in the US.
During the holidays, not only do more people drink overall, but there are also more simultaneous drinks due to increased social gatherings and time off from work.
2. Pressured driving
The winter holidays frequently coincide with increased stress, particularly financial difficulties and the stress brought on by attempting to accomplish too much in a short period.
Drivers frequently respond to these demands by driving excessively fast due to stress, making erratic lane changes, and generally being inconsiderate of other road users’ requirements and safety.
A fifth of all fatal vehicle accidents is caused by tired or sleepy drivers. It is obvious why: the effects of fatigued driving are on par with those of drunk driving.
Fatigue will continue to worsen its effects. Americans are sleeping less than ever. Most adults in the U.S. sleep less than seven hours per night, despite the average adult needing between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.
The holidays have a variety of effects on sleep. People are generally receiving much less sleep due to increased drinking, rich foods, and duties over the holidays.
Traveling can also impact one’s capacity to sleep, especially when changing time zones or driving long distances in a short period. Contrary to popular belief, people tend to sleep less during the holidays.
4. Distracted Driving
This includes using a cell phone while driving to make calls or send texts to family, friends, and coworkers. Avoid using your smartphone while driving to shop online, check store hours, or seek directions.
5. Vehicle Maintenance
According to federal records, car maintenance is a year-round concern because mechanical problems account for 12% of all accidents. However, poor weather might increase the risk of errors, especially tire issues. In slippery or rainy circumstances, old tires with little tread are most likely to result in a loss of control.
Holidays may also have an indirect impact on the condition of your car. The bottom of your automobile can rust if the road is salted to avoid ice. The likelihood of a vehicle’s severe malfunction is increased by corrosion.
You may take several steps to ensure your car is winter-ready if you’re going on a long drive during the holidays or staying home but need to travel around.
Before you go, service your vehicle, inspect your tires, pack extra supplies, confirm that you have enough gas, and inspect the weather.
Doing these steps ensures that your automobile is ready for the winter weather, including rain, snow, and other extreme conditions.
Safety Tips for All Drivers
1. Carry an Emergency Kit
Ensure your car has an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, a fully charged mobile phone, a charger, and reflective safety triangles.
Also, carry matches or a lighter, tire chains and gloves, a first aid kit, a shovel, traction mat, sand or cat litter, spare clothing and shoes, a water bottle, and non-perishable snacks.
2. Avoid Distractions
Avoid using your phone to send texts or emails or use social media while driving. Texting or reading draws your attention away from the road for at least 5 seconds.
That is equivalent to driving a football field’s length with your eyes closed at 55 mph. Your full concentration is necessary for safe driving.
3. Make a Winter Inspection
Make sure your car has a winter inspection, is roadworthy, has a matching set of four winter tires, and has winter wiper blades.
4. Avoid Driving While Intoxicated
Driving while intoxicated is never a good idea, and neither should letting friends or relatives drive while intoxicated.
5. Drive Slowly
Slow down and keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. Because it takes longer to stop on slick roads, you should allow at least 4 seconds behind the vehicle in front of you.
To match the road’s speed, you also need to slow down. Under ideal circumstances, the advertised speed is the top speed, but seasonal conditions are frequently anything but.
- Avoid driving at night or by yourself.
- When getting in and out of the vehicle, ensure all the doors are locked, and the windows are closed.
- Set an alarm or a theft-deterrent device.
- If you want to shop at night, find a well-lit spot.
- Park away from vans, trucks, and other vehicles with window tint.
- Consider parking as close to your destination as possible, and pay attention to your parking spot.
- Don’t leave your motor running while you’re outside or with kids inside.
- Never leave goods or valuables on your car seat. This makes burglars more likely to steal. Be sure to hide anything you want to leave in the car or lock it inside the trunk.
- Before going to your car, be sure you can find your keys.
- Keep a tight grip on your bags, purse, and packages. To open the door, don’t put them on the ground or in your car.
- Be mindful of your surroundings when you approach or exit your car. If strange individuals are around you, do not go to your car alone.
- Before exiting your shopping area, request an escort from the store or mall security.
After reading the holiday driving hazards and control measures, you can prevent possible hazards better.
Don’t let the holiday’s stresses compromise your and your family’s safety while driving. Put the phone away and concentrate entirely on the road. Don’t let this holiday season turn you into a statistic.
Before you leave for the day’s driving, check the weather. Make sure to maintain a safe speed for the terrain and weather.
Make it a rule that everyone in your vehicle, including passengers, must always wear a seatbelt. Do the same to set a positive example.