The anticipation of seeing family and friends, combined with the festive lights and decorations make the holiday season special for people of all ages. That’s why following these safe driving tips is essential.

More people driving to stores and relatives’ houses for the holidays means more traffic and, unfortunately, more accidents. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, extended time on the road combined with excessive speed and alcohol consumption make the holiday season a particularly dangerous time of year as evidenced by a 7% increase in traffic fatalities.

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and traditions. However, if you’re driving to see loved ones this holiday season – or any time of year – safety should be your top priority. Use these tips to help keep yourself and your passengers safe on the roads.

Stay focused and concentrate on driving

With so much going on during the holidays, it can be tough to stay focused while driving. But it’s important to remember that once you get behind the wheel, your sole task should be operating your vehicle safely.

The human brain cannot focus on more than one task at a time. Contrary to popular belief, people who think they can multitask while driving are actually just quickly switching their focus from one task to another.

When you rapidly alternate between tasks, it may deceive you into thinking that you’re proficient at multi-tasking, however, this is not the case. It’s important to put your cell phone away, limit discussion with those in the car, and stay focused on driving.

Do not drive when impaired

Alcohol consumption isn’t the only thing that increases the likelihood of an accident, prescription, and non-prescription drugs can also have a significant impact on judgment, vision, and coordination – all essential elements for operating a vehicle safely.

If you believe that your ability to drive is impaired by drugs or alcohol do not get behind the wheel. There are numerous options for getting home safely such as choosing a designated driver ahead of time or calling a taxi/rideshare service.

Get plenty of rest

After a long day of shopping and wrapping presents, the last thing you want to do is drive for hours. Unfortunately, that’s sometimes what it takes to get where you’re going for the holidays.

Driving when you’re exhausted is as dangerous as driving while impaired. If you feel tired it’s important to err on the side of caution and take a break at a rest area or someplace else safe before continuing your drive.

Know where you are going

Never try to program a GPS device or get directions on your cell phone while driving; it is extremely distracting. If you are unsure of the directions to your destination, always look them up beforehand or pull over somewhere safe before using navigation systems to get directions.

Prepare for the weather

Here in Sarasota, it is common for rainy weather to suddenly roll in, even during December.  Here are a few things you should do to make sure you are being safe while driving in rainy weather:

  • Keep your vehicle well maintained
  • Check your tires to make sure they have an adequate amount of tread
  • Ensure your windshield wipers are properly functioning
  • Check your lights to make sure they are properly functioning
  • (Please note this is not an exhaustive list)

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination

Traffic is always heavier during holiday travel, so plan ahead and give yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you are planning on taking a long-distance trip remember to factor in rest stops and meal breaks.

When Accidents Happen Christine Law Is Here To Help

Unfortunately, you cannot control the safety of other drivers on the road. If you get into an accident because of another driver’s negligence this holiday season, a qualified attorney will know how to investigate your car accident and collect the necessary evidence for a successful personal injury lawsuit. Plus, it costs you nothing! At Christine Law, P.A. we provide free consultations 7 days a week. Don’t wait! If you’ve been in an accident, call us immediately at (941) 548-9555.