As exciting as the holiday season is for many people, it is also a dangerous time for long-distance travel. Winter weather and crowded roadways contribute additional risks to everyday travel. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that the days between the Thanksgiving holiday and New Year Day result in the busiest travel activity on the roads compared to other times of the year. Before getting behind the wheel for a holiday trip, plan ahead and take precautions to ensure that everyone arrives safely for the festivities.
Spontaneous road trips may be fun, but a holiday trip will benefit from thorough planning. Your vehicle needs to be checked by a mechanic for any potential problems and you should be certain to have adequate gas to avoid being stranded. If weather will be cold, be sure to pack warm blankets, water, snacks, and first aid supplies in case of an emergency.
Careful planning can help avoid unnecessary risks. The driver should get a good night’s sleep before getting behind the wheel. Likewise, the driver should abstain from drinking alcohol or taking any medications that may cause drowsiness. Other matters to consider before leaving:
- The safest route to the destination
- An alternative route in the event that the original route is not possible
- Possible inclement weather
- Scheduled stops at rest areas to break up the monotony of driving
- Switching drivers, if another driver is available
- An emergency plan if an accident occurs
Many accidents are caused by the failure to exercise caution while driving. During the holidays, drivers need to be particularly vigilant about paying attention and following traffic laws. Crowded roadways introduce more opportunities for accidents and fewer chances of avoiding them. In order to keep yourself, your passengers, and other motorists safe, practice careful driving all the way to your destination.
- Never text while driving.
- Avoid talking on a cellphone while the vehicle is in motion.
- Do not read maps or a GPS without pulling over first.
- Refrain from distracting conversations or arguments with the passengers in the vehicle.
- Stay aware of the other vehicles on the road.
- Do not speed.
- Proceed with extreme caution during icy or snowy conditions
Sometimes an accident may still occur even when you have planned and taken great care to drive safely. Other motorists on the road are expected to drive responsibly, but your ability to control your involvement in an accident is limited to your own behavior. If the negligent driving of another motorist causes an accident and you or your passengers sustain physical injuries from the crash, you may want to consider legal action to seek compensation for your losses.
Attorneys atJacobs Law, LLC know how devastating an injury during the holidays can be. If you were involved in an accident, call us today or fill out our online contact form and Jacobs Law will contact you about your claim. They care and want to fight for your rights.