The holidays are a time when many people hit the open road to visit family, travel the countryside, and simply enjoy getting away. With more people on the road, it’s probably no surprise the months of November and December see more car accidents than any other time of year.
Although no one can plan for an accident, there are several precautions you can take to reduce your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle collision this holiday season. Before you get behind the wheel, consider the following safety tips:
Don’t Drive Impaired
People tend to consume alcohol at social gatherings. When they get behind the wheel afterwards, they can cause a serious accident. According to AAA, drinking peaks over the holidays. Stay safe by using a designated driver any time you plan to consume alcohol away from home.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Almost 80 percent of all car accidents involve some type of driver distraction. Potential distractions increase over holiday breaks, as people rush home to take advantage of vacation time. With children out of school, there are also more young drivers on the roads. If you’re a parent, speak to your child about the importance of staying alert behind the wheel.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Most people give their homes a thorough “spring cleaning” at least once a year. You should do the same for your car. Before any long trip, check your vehicle’s fluids, tire pressure, and filters. It’s also a good time to equip your car with an emergency kit stocked with blankets, batteries, a flashlight, medical supplies, flares, and a few days’ worth of water and non-perishable food.
Keep Your Cool
When the weather cools down, motorists’ tempers can heat up behind the wheel. The American Psychological Association reports that high-anger drivers are twice as likely to be involved in a motor vehicle collision as people who keep their calm when they drive. You can reduce the likelihood of road rage by observing the speed limit, steering clear of aggressive drivers, and giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.