How to Plan Ahead for Safe Travel this Holiday Season
Hitting the road this holiday season? You’re not alone. Unlike last year when the pandemic kept a lot of people home, this year is expected to break travel records. From the Wednesday before Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Day, more Americans will be driving to celebrate with family and friends.
The holidays also mean more people driving under the influence of alcohol. The number of traffic fatalities related to alcohol has been higher over the Thanksgiving holiday than the rest of the year for nearly every year since 1982, according to the National Safety Council.
Other factors contributing to more accidents are speeding, unfamiliar roads, driving while tired, distracted driving (texting, more people in the car), and poor weather conditions. Fatigued driving and distracted driving are just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Follow these steps to keep you and your loved ones safe while on the road:
- Don’t drink and drive. And, don’t drive with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Designate a sober driver before you start your celebrations.
- Make sure your car is current on maintenance and any necessary repairs. Check your tires, fluid levels, and battery before heading out, and make sure you have a full tank of gas.
- Be prepared for inclement weather. Check the forecast for your route. Keep safety items in your trunk in case you have to stop on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping a portable cell phone charger, flashlight, jumper cables, tire pressure gauge, extra windshield wiper fluid, blankets, and flares. Other items to consider having on hand are extra jackets, face masks, nonperishable food, and water.
- Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Don’t speed and try to be patient with what is likely to be heavier traffic.
- Stay alert. Take frequent breaks. If possible, take turns driving with another driver. If you feel tired, pull over to a rest stop or gas station to recharge.
- Pay attention. Don’t text and drive.
- Make sure every person in the car is wearing a seat belt. Kids under 13 should ride in the back seat and be buckled.
“We encourage everyone to have a plan for safe travel and for what to do in the event of an accident,” said Amy Witherite, Witherite Law Group founder and longtime accident attorney. “Accidents don’t take the holidays off. Being prepared is essential.”
If you are in a car or truck accident during the holidays, or any time, call Witherite Law Group. We’ll be here, even over the holidays, to answer your call and help you figure out next steps.
The accident attorneys of Witherite Law Group help those who have been injured in a car or truck accident. Get legal help today by calling 1-800-CarWreck® or 1-800-TruckWreck or visiting www.WitheriteLaw.com. We’re available 24/7.