Holiday time is also “travel time” for a lot of folks, and the increased traffic on the road and the rise in drunk driving incidents can make for a dangerous trip. Snowy and icy weather, unfamiliar terrain, the lack of daylight hours and even roaming animals can make your trip a little scary.
How can you make your holiday trip a little safer?
It’s smart to brush up on your regular safety routine and add a few extra steps into your process before you go. Here are some suggestions that can help:
- Check the weather. If you’re traveling very far, you could be driving into hazardous weather without realizing it. Knowing what to expect on the road ahead is half the battle.
- Give yourself extra time. Speeding is one of the main causes of accidents. Don’t put yourself in a position where you feel rushed. Instead, build extra time into your trip.
- Make sure you’re up to the job. Don’t get behind the wheel when you’re tired, stressed out, on medication that could alter your reflexes or make you sleepy or when you’re inebriated. That’s a recipe for disaster.
- Get rid of distractions. You have enough to handle just watching the road, so put away the cellphone and have your passenger handle the navigation. Make sure the kids are secure in their seats and have everything they need before the trip starts.
- Watch out for animals. If you have to pass through a rural area, you need to be watchful for wildlife that may be on the move — especially around dawn or dusk. If you do encounter deer or other animals in the road, slow down and try to stop — but don’t swerve into another lane or off the road because that can be deadly.
Unfortunately, the most dangerous part of holiday travel isn’t anything you can control: It’s other drivers. Stressed, anxious, tired and intoxicated drivers are all around at this time of the year, so you simply have to use defensive driving as much as possible.
If you are in a wreck with another vehicle, you have a right to seek compensation for your losses from the liable party. An experienced attorney can evaluate your claim and protect your interests.