That time of the year is finally sneaking up on us! The time where roads get a little sleeker, the pumpkin spice latte’s are out in full force and holiday shopping means more stress and last minute trips. Which means that people are more and more distracted on the roads this time of year. So we have decided to put together some Holiday Driving Safety Tips to help you get through this upcoming season.
- Distractions, Distractions, Distractions : they happen to all of us. Kids yelling at each other in the back seat, coffee spilling on you as you are trying to make that pesky left turn and hoping that you won’t have to park too far away from Old Navy and will be able to get the kids in and out in a flash. Distractions are even more pronounced during this season because our minds on constantly on about fifty things at a time and because we have a tendency to travel a bit more during the holidays. When you get behind the wheel, try to make driving the priority. Avoid using cell phones, adjusting the or changing CD’s, reading maps or navigation, and perhaps hold off on eating or drinking a any liquids until you have reached your destination.
- Stay Alert! Keep your eyes as focused on the road ahead of you and beside you as you possibly can. Do your best to drive defensively. And always remember to wear your seat belt and expect the unexpected.
- Since the days will be getting shorter, sleep patterns will be a little more disturbed than normal, drivers will be more vulnerable to drowsiness. Make sure to get enough rest, allowing extra travel time in case you need to take frequent breaks during long distance trips. Driving drowsy can and does impair judgment, slow reaction times, and increases stopping distance.
- Those Checkpoints – with the spirit of the season and people drinking to get into the spirt, so to speak, an increase of police presence – so remember to drink responsibly. If you do decide to go out and have a drink or two, make sure you either have a designated driver or have access to Uber or Lyft. Even small amounts of alcohol can and do impair your driving ability. Be extremely cautious on the roads – especially at night – and report any drivers you see driving erratically or unsafe.
- With the increase in traffic during the holiday season, that also means that there is an increase in commercial vehicles on the road. When driving near large trucks, try not to linger in their “danger zones” (their blind spots – if you cannot see their mirrors, they cannot see you).
- Crime Rate Increase – unfortunately car theft is on the rise during the holiday season. In order to increase safety, make sure to park in well-lit areas close where you will be. I know from personal experience, that this season is the most difficult time to find parking anywhere close, unfortunately, but luckily most outdoor and indoor malls have well-lit up parking lots and their is heightened security presence at this time as well.
Holidays usually mean spending more time behind the wheel. Getting frustrated with other drivers who cut us off, the kids in the backseat yelling or pushing each other, the radio isn’t playing your favorite holiday song, or the barista made your coffee wrong. Unfortunately these frustrations lead to distractions and distractions can lead to accidents. Most of these accidents are preventable. Just take a minute to breathe and remember that though this can be a rough time of the year with distractions and trying to find that “right” present or getting to that dinner that you maybe, might be, dreading – it is supposed