The holiday season is upon us, and that means the roadways become a bit more dangerous than usual. There are more people on the roadways right now. There has been a record-breaking number of people traveling this holiday season, so you can expect much of the same throughout the rest of December and into the new year. Depending on where you are traveling in the state or throughout the US, you may run into some icy roadways.
If you plan on doing plenty of driving during this holiday season, there are some tips you can follow to remain safe and avoid any potential car accidents on the roadway.
1. Plan ahead
Before you start any trip, make sure your vehicle is in good mechanical shape. Change the oil and check the rest of the fluids. Get the brakes checked and properly inflate your tires. Not only will this help keep you safe, but it can help with your gas mileage as well. Part of your planning needs to be making sure you know which route you are going to take. Make sure friends or family members know when you are leaving, which route you are taking, and your estimated travel time.
2. Stay alert on the roadway
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before long road trips. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the driver fatigue is a significant contributor to car, motorcycle, and truck accidents. For longer trips, schedule in regular breaks to avoid drowsy driving. If possible, share driving responsibilities with someone else in the vehicle.
3. Watch your speed
It can be tempting to drive over the speed limit, especially on the highways. Doing so puts your life and other people’s lives in danger. The higher the speed, the most likely there are to be serious personal injuries or fatalities in the event a crash occurs. Automotive Fleet Magazine says that for every one percent increase in speed, a driver’s chance of an accident increases by 2%.
4. Remember defensive driving
The safety of everyone in your vehicle depends on you practicing defensive driving. Let impatient or aggressive drivers go past you on the roadway. Anticipate the moves of drivers around you. When you are defensive on the roadway, you control the situation.
5. Do not get distracted
It is becoming increasingly common for an accident to be caused by distracted driving. This is largely due to the increase in technology in our lives. Distracted driving includes talking and texting on the phone, browsing the internet on a phone or other device, messing with navigation or sound systems, and more.
6. No impaired driving
According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 31% of all traffic fatalities during the latest reporting year were the result of alcohol-related crashes. Drunk driving causes far too many severe injuries and fatalities in this state and across the country each year. If you plan to drink, plan to put the keys away. Use a designated driver, a taxi, or a rideshare service as an alternative.
Be safe on the roadways this holiday
The OTS says that there were more than 273,000 car accident injuries and 3,602 fatalities on California roadways during their latest year of data available. As more and more people hit the roadways this holiday season, keep our tips in mind as you head out to see friends and family.