Increase in Holiday Traffic Equals Increase in Accidents

As the holidays approach, people everywhere are making plans to travel. However, as more people get on the highway, driving becomes more dangerous for everyone. Reduce your chances of an accident this holiday season by practicing safe driving at all times.

Why Are the Holidays More Dangerous?

During the holiday season, the number of cars on the road increases dramatically. With more cars on the road, the chances of a collision go up. Likewise, with people driving longer distances, they are more likely to get frustrated or tired and make errors while driving. In addition, the holiday season often involves inclement weather that can make the chances of an accident higher. All of these factors combine to make the holiday season one of the most hazardous times to travel.

Safe Driving Tips

1. Drive with appropriate tires.

Before you leave for any holiday trip, check to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Don't mix radial tires with other tire types, and make sure your tires have plenty of tread.

2. Don't drive while you are tired.

When traveling for the holidays, you want to get where you are going as quickly as possible so you can begin enjoying the festivities. However, if you are too tired, you should always stop and rest or let someone else drive. Drowsy driving only raises your chances of having an accident.

3. Watch the weather.

If you are planning a long trip, watch the weather carefully ahead of time. Make sure you pay attention to weather reports along your entire route. If possible, avoid traveling in inclement weather that could make accidents more likely.

4. Know how to drive in the snow.

When driving in the snow, always drive slowly. Accelerate, decelerate, stop and turn slower than you normally would. When you get in a hurry, you are more likely to slide and lose control of your vehicle. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles so you have more time to stop if needed. Stop as little as possible, especially when traveling uphill. When you must use your brakes, use the ball of your foot to apply a steady pressure to the pedal. Avoid using your parking brake in snowy weather.

5. Know what to do in an emergency.

If you must travel in bad weather and you get stuck somewhere, remain in your vehicle so rescuers can find you more easily. Don't try to walk through a storm. If you decide to try to dig your vehicle out of the snow, make sure you don't get too cold or overexert yourself to a dangerous level. Remember to carry a charged cell phone and warm blankets in your car at all times in case you get stranded. Draw attention to a stranded vehicle by attaching a brightly colored piece of cloth to the antenna. If you want to keep the engine running while you wait for help, make sure the exhaust pipe isn't clogged with snow or any other material. Run the engine only as long as you need to in order to avoid running out of gasoline.

6. Remember basic safety practices.

In the winter, remember that it isn't safe to warm up your vehicle in an enclosed area, as the fumes produced are toxic. Always keep your gas tank at least half full to prevent freezing in the lines, and wear your seatbelt every time you drive.

Even when you are careful, accidents can happen. If you have been involved in an auto accident, contact an attorney to discuss your options.