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After two years of quarantines and lockdowns, millions of Americans will be hitting the road again this holiday season to visit with loved ones. That means there will be more traffic on the road than usual during peak holiday times, and on weekends. What that means for drivers is more attention to the road, weather conditions, and general driving safety.
At The Embry Law Firm, we want you to enjoy the holidays as safely as possible. Take a look at these tips for safe holiday driving from our car accident law firm.
Tips for Driving Safe This Holiday Season
Consider these tips before you make plans this holiday season:
Plan the Route
If you are considering driving to see loved ones this holiday season, plan your route ahead of time. Check out local traffic advisories and estimates on which days are likely to be most traffic-heavy. Avoid those days if possible, but if not, choose the safest route possible. Sometimes taking a little extra time on the drive is worth it for safety.
Check the Forecast
Many people will be driving to different states, and therefore, different weather conditions. Check the forecast before you travel to see what sort of weather you may be driving through. Cold, wet, or snowy weather can make driving much more difficult and dangerous. You should prepare in advance if the weather looks to be problematic so you allow plenty of time to get where you need to go.
Get a Checkup
You and your loved ones are not the only ones that should be healthy before taking a road trip. Your vehicle should also get a checkup. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order by checking:
- Fluids and filters
- Wiper blades
If you are traveling to an area with cold weather, ice, or snow, make sure your vehicle is prepped for these changing weather conditions.
Distractions are hard to avoid on long road trips. Driving can be monotonous and tiring. It is easy to give in to the temptation to radio channel search, look at the map or GPS, eat behind the wheel, or talk on the phone. But all of these distractions can be dangerous, or even deadly. Distracted driving is a leading cause of auto accidents.
Don’t Drink and Drive
If you are attending holiday parties this season, you may find yourself partaking of festive holiday drinks that contain alcohol. If you are planning to partake, remember to designate a sober driver, or arrange for someone to pick you up and drop you off at home later. Taxi and ride share services are great options for avoiding drinking and driving.
Keep the Kids Safe
If you are traveling with children this holiday season, remember to check local laws for car seats and child safety guidelines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), kids under 12 years old are safest in the backseat of a vehicle. Check with your state to find out what height/age/weight requirements there are for car seats and booster seats.
Remember not to strap children in the back seat or a child safety seat with puffy or heavy clothing on. This makes it difficult to properly tighten the harness. The harness must be properly tight in order to prevent an ejection or other injuries.
As exciting as the holiday season is, don’t forget to take time to prepare and review your safety strategies. Nothing will ruin your holiday plans like an auto accident before you even begin to enjoy the holidays. Follow our safety tips above to make sure you and your loved ones have the best – and safest – holiday season possible.