Practicing defensive driving is an important part of vehicle safety. However, it is particularly crucial to implement during the holiday season. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fatal crashes increase significantly during the holidays. This is mostly due to alcohol-impaired drivers on New Year’s Eve and other holidays, longer travel times, and people driving too fast for the conditions. If you are looking to remain accident-free, then follow our safe driving tips while visiting loved ones this holiday season.
Plan Your Trip to Avoid Busy Times
People often begin their holiday trips after the workweek ends. Therefore, you should try to leave earlier in the week and avoid periods of heavy traffic. Friday after work and the Saturday before Christmas are likely to be the busiest travel days. Driving outside of peak times can help you arrive quicker and keep your family safer.
Take Frequent Breaks
Driving during the holidays can be both mentally and physically exhausting. If you are in a hurry to see your loved ones, then you may be tempted to skip breaks for food, water, and stretching your legs. Doing so can leave you fatigued and struggling to complete your drive safely. Check your route before you leave, and plan on stopping multiple times to refresh yourself and prepare for the next leg of the drive.
As noted by the NHTSA, excessive speed is a major factor in a significant amount of holiday crashes. Focus on reaching your destination safely, rather than reaching it as quickly as possible. Driving at a slightly higher speed will not significantly change your arrival time. However, it could increase your chance of being involved in a crash. When planning your trip, leave extra time to account for possible delays so that you do not have to speed to arrive on time.
Create Extra Space Between You and Other Drivers
Road conditions can vary quite a bit in California during the winter. It is often difficult to predict how others will behave when driving. Therefore, you should plan for any possible scenario by leaving plenty of space between you and other drivers on the road. If someone in front of you hits an icy patch or slams on his or her brakes, then you will have plenty of time to slow down and avoid an accident.
Avoid Unnecessary Distractions
Distracted driving is one of the biggest dangers on the road today. If you have passengers traveling with you, then designate one to be responsible for changing music, finding podcasts to listen to, or checking the navigation app. If possible, set up music playlists and podcast queues ahead of time so you can avoid using your phone while driving.
San Jose Car Accident Lawyer Offers a Free Consultation After a Holiday Crash
No matter how carefully you follow our safe driving tips, there are bound to be unsafe drivers on the road. If you or someone you love gets hurt in a car accident, then it is important to reach out to a San Jose car accident attorney who can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia today at (408) 650-8955 to schedule a free consultation. You can also fill out our confidential contact form.