The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration and togetherness. As families and friends come together to share in the festivities, the roads become busier with travelers eager to reach their destinations.
With increased traffic, it is important to focus on safety while driving during this time of year. Here are tips to ensure a secure holiday journey.
Plan ahead for the weather
Winter weather can be unpredictable, bringing snow, ice and slippery conditions. Before hitting the road, check the weather forecast and road conditions. Ensure your vehicle has appropriate tires and that all systems, such as brakes and lights, are in optimal condition. Planning ahead for bad weather can help you navigate the roads safely.
Avoid distractions behind the wheel
As the holiday season brings a flurry of activities, it is tempting to check your phone for messages or make last-minute adjustments while driving. However, distractions significantly increase the risk of accidents. Stay focused on the road, and if necessary, designate a passenger as the navigator to handle GPS and other non-driving tasks.
Buckle up and secure passengers
Wearing seat belts is a fundamental safety measure that people should not overlook. Ensure all passengers, including children, are securely strapped in with age-appropriate restraints. Buckling up significantly reduces the risk of injury in the event of an accident, making it a simple yet effective safety practice.
Take regular breaks on long journeys
Long drives can be exhausting, especially during the holidays when many people travel considerable distances to be with loved ones. Only 72.3% of American adults in a 2020 report say they get enough sleep. You need to plan for regular breaks to rest, stretch and refresh yourself. Fatigue can impair your reaction time and decision-making abilities, so staying well-rested is important for safe driving.
Be mindful of other drivers
Holiday traffic can be stressful, and patience is key. Be courteous to fellow drivers, use your turn signals and follow traffic rules. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating or excessive speeding, as they increase the chance of accidents. A considerate and mindful approach on the road contributes to a safer and more pleasant driving experience for everyone.
Even a simple distraction or moment of frustration may sap your focus in an instant while behind the wheel. Contributing to making the roads safer for yourself and others allows you to relax more during this fun time of the year.