Is it More Dangerous to Drive During the Holiday Season?

drive holiday season

Millions of Americans drive to visit family and friends during the holiday season, which means more car accidents. The more densely populated the area, the more packed the roadways will be during the holidays. Additionally, temperatures during the holiday season drop to below freezing. That makes driving during the wintertime especially dangerous.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, two to three times more people die in drunk driving collisions than the rest of the year. New Year’s Eve is particularly dangerous because many people will indulge. The National Safety Council (NSC) predicts that 384 people may die in in traffic accidents this New Year’s Day holiday period.

Drunk Driving

Many people will binge drink during the holiday season, despite the dangers. If a night out on New Year’s Eve is a part of your holiday plans, you should arrange for a ride home. Many bars and other establishments that serve alcohol arrange for taxi and rideshare services for patrons. At the very least, have a designated driver drive you home after you celebrate the new year.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving happens whenever you take your eyes off the road while behind the wheel. Even a couple of seconds of distracted driving could result in a severe car accident. When you are not paying attention while in the car, you could drift out of your lane or miss a turn and cause an accident.

Cellphone use causes the majority of distracted driving accidents. That is why it is against the law to text and drive. You can use a hands-free device to communicate, such as Bluetooth. However, this can still be distracting. If you have to use your phone, it is best to pull over.

Rowdy friends and family can also be distracting. You need your passengers to be on their best behavior. If you have children, try to give them a book or a handheld game to keep them distracted while you are traveling. If your passengers are loud, it is best to pull over until you remedy the situation.

Drowsy Driving

The excitement of the holidays can be tiring for many people. If you drive to holiday festivities after a long day of work, that could wear you out. Holiday excitement, exchanging gifts, and driving could leave you feeling very fatigued.

If you are driving over the holidays, you should make sure you are well-rested. Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. The effects of fatigue are often compared to the effects of alcohol. Even if you do not fall asleep, the inability to concentrate on driving could lead to an accident. If you are traveling with friends or family, you can split the driving responsibilities. If not, you could take a nap at a rest area or another safe place before finishing the drive home.

Driving While Stressed

The holidays can be memorable, but many people also find them to be highly stressful. Many holiday shoppers are trying to stretch their budgets. Bills and the stress of shopping in busy stores can make the holidays overwhelming. Driving while stressed could make it harder for you to concentrate on safety.

If you find yourself getting angry or stressed behind the wheel, having another trusted driver with you can lessen the burden. Splitting driving duties can help you relax during the trip.

Wear a Seat Belt

When drivers and passengers wear their seat belts, they are less likely to be injured in an accident. It is also important that you safely secure your children in their car seats, and make sure all of your passengers are wearing their seat belts before you drive.

Prepare Your Vehicle

You also should prepare your vehicle for the worst possible winter conditions, and pay close attention to the weather forecast. If the weather looks like it could get bad, you should give yourself more time to travel. If possible, do not travel at all.

Performing some basic maintenance can help make your vehicle is ready for holiday travel. You should have the tires checked for good tread, and you can mount snow tires on your car if you plan on traveling to snowy locations over the holidays. All lights need to be working properly. You should also make sure you have good wiper blades and that your windshield wiper fluid is full.

Kensington Car Accident Lawyers at Wiggins Law, LLC Help Injured Drivers Find Justice During the Holiday Season

Holiday travel can be dangerous due to weather, road conditions, and many other factors. If you need legal help after a holiday collision, speak with our Kensington car accident lawyers at Wiggins Law, LLC. Complete our online form or call us at 267-225-0770 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more. We are located in Northeast Philadelphia, and we serve clients throughout the Philadelphia area, including Kensington, Tacony, Torresdale, Mayfair, Port Richmond, Allegheny, and Olney, Pennsylvania.