Holiday Driving: Tips for Staying Safe
“Jingle Bells” has hijacked all the audio players around the country, and pine tree smell is everywhere you go, including your own living room. All the signs tell us that it’s the holiday season. And I am pretty sure that not only Santa has been incredibly busy these days, shaking snow off his sleigh and getting on the road to bring the gifts on time.
Who hasn’t been running around the city these days, stuffing the car trunk with gifts, or strapping the Christmas tree or skiing gear to the roof of the car, preparing to spend the merriest and the most delightful time of the year with family and friends?
Holiday anticipation makes this an exciting time, but at the same moment, all this rush can turn into a nightmare, especially if you are planning to spend a lot of time in the car: partly due to slippery roads and snow, partly because of bad congestion on the road. But what’s more disturbing is that many of the problems on the road can be caused by drivers who like to spice up holiday driving with alcohol.
The days of Christmas rank 7th among the 10 most dangerous holidays of the year for driving. You should be extremely careful on the road not only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but surrounding days as well. Last-minute shopping and driving home for Christmas make December 22nd and 23rd days that have the most dreadful consequences for road users.
The situation for holiday driving gets a little worse on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. NHTSA research says that more people become victims of traffic collisions on those days. They rank 5th place out of the 10 most dangerous holidays for driving. Of course, this can be easily explained: roads are still icy and slippery, darkness descends in the late afternoon, and people are seamlessly switching from one holiday to another and, apparently, just forget to be extra cautious. And extensive festive celebrations certainly contribute to careless holiday driving.
In order to prevent yourself from ruining the magic cheerful mood this holiday season, all you need to do is just be extra careful when driving:
– Never allow yourself, your friends, or family members to drink and drive.
– Consider the traffic, plan all your holiday driving trips accordingly, and allow yourself extra traveling time and leave earlier than usual.
– Rest well. Big parties and infrequent family gatherings can be overwhelming and energy consuming.
– Attentively watch for aggressive/drunk drivers and try to stay away from them.
– Be reasonable with car decorations. Make sure that fancy window stickers and garlands don’t obstruct the view.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, dear drivers!