Celebrate the holiday season responsibly. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, but some drivers take the holiday jingle to heart. 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 are also a stressful time for many households. Last-minute shopping or visiting several holiday parties on the same day can add to the confusion. 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.
Drive defensively. Take precautions while driving. It‘s a hectic time but avoid rushing. It‘s better to arrive safely. Also, 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.
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. Remember to reload your emergency kit. 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.
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.