December 2019 - Wishing You Safe Travels This Holiday Season
Whether you’re visiting family or treating yourself to a winter vacation, you’ll have plenty of company when you hit the road this holiday season. With the increase in travelers comes an increased risk of accidents, injuries and crime. Following a few simple safety tips can result in a safe – and fun – holiday.
Distracted and impaired driving top the list of dangerous practices but there are two others that round out the list of the four most dangerous holiday driving hazards according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: pressured driving and fatigued driving.
Pressured driving, or driving while stressed, can cause you to speed, drive aggressively, or generally disregard the rules of the road. You can reduce the added stress related to holiday travel by taking a few precautions:
- Plan your route in advance, and plan an alternative route in the event of accidents, road work or other detours;
- Prepare for inclement weather by practicing defensive driving and keeping a well-stocked emergency kit on hand complete with necessary tools, first aid essentials, and survival equipment like blankets, cell phone chargers and water.
Fatigued driving is another common danger, especially this time of year. Studies show that drivers with 6 to 7 hours of sleep are twice as likely to be involved in an accident than someone who has had 8 or more hours of sleep. That risk is more than doubled for drivers with five or less hours of sleep. If you’re going on a long road trip, make sure you leave plenty of time for rest stops along the way.
Other ways to reduce your holiday travel risks:
- Avoid stopping on the roadside if possible; inspect and service your car, particularly your tires, before leaving.
- If someone signals a problem with your car or taps you from behind, resist the urge to stop immediately; instead, proceed to a nearby service station or some other populated spot.
- Fill your gas tank while there’s still daylight.
- Choose well-lit, well-traveled streets, especially if you’re unfamiliar with your route.
Stay safe out there.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!