The holidays. The very mention of it sends tingles of joy down from our head to our little toes. But…we need to tell you something, and it’s not about Santa… You might be wondering what could be so wrong about the most festive and colorful time of the year. Before you ask, yes, we’re going to be the bearers of bad news once again, but it’s only to keep you safe. The holidays happen to be a time where driving risks are at an all time high. In fact, just between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, driving-related fatalities increase by about 15%! Because the holidays are a time to visit family and friends, our roads are busier than ever. Naturally, this causes an increased risk of accidents.
So here are reasons why the holidays are more dangerous, followed by safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe while on the road:
Why are the holidays such a dangerous time on the road?
There are multiple risk factors that increase during the holidays. First on the list, as we mentioned before, a significant increase in vehicles on the road. Second, stressed out, aggressive or exhausted drivers. Long drives, increased traffic and holiday stress can lead to aggressive driving behaviors as well as fatigued driving. Third up is driving while under the influence. Work tends to be slow during the holiday months, leading to more happy hours with coworkers and nights out with friends, leading to increased drunk driving incidents, especially on days like Blackout Wednesday. The fourth and final major reason is inclement weather. We all love a white Christmas, unless we have a several hour drive to grandma’s house!
What you can do to drive safer this holiday season:
- Buckle up, even if you’re just driving around town. Fix your mirrors before pulling out of the driveway while you’re at it. Follow the law – it’s there to keep everyone safe.
- Don’t drink and drive. This is an easy one to follow in a world where Uber and Lyft are at our fingertips. Designate a driver or call a car. Driving drunk is never worth your life nor other people’s lives.
- Keep your eyes on the road. Put your phone away while driving. Nothing good comes from looking at your phone while behind a vehicle that weighs several tons. 3 seconds is all it takes for an accident to happen. Think about it; that’s how long it can take for Face ID to unlock your phone.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Driving faster to make up for lost time, especially during inclement weather, is a recipe for disaster. Factor in rest stops, bathroom breaks and then some! Not only will this lead to a more stress-free drive, but it will also allow you to be a little less exhausted once you reach your destination.
- Be well rested. Coffee is not an alternative to sleep. Before you get behind the wheel, make sure you get ample sleep. 7 to 9 hours of sleep is the recommended amount to prevent drowsy driving for most people. In fact, research suggests sleeping 5 hours or less is the equivalent to driving drunk over long stretches of time (www.fatiguescience.com).
- Manage stress. You know the holidays are stressful with kids out of school, figuring out gift shopping for your entire family and dealing with the hustle and bustle everywhere you go. Plan ahead and prepare by buying gifts ahead of time and mapping out your to-do list across several days. Exercise and time in nature are also excellent stress regulators.
If you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, call us for a freelegal consultation at (571) 364 – 6307. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
– Jim Parrish, Esquire
About Jim Parrish
Jim Parrish’s vision has always been to bring peace to clients whose lives have been turned upside down by their personal injuries and from dealing with unscrupulous insurance companies. With over 20 years of personal injury experience, as well as prior experience working with the insurance companies, Jim is well versed in the tricky ways that insurance companies try to scheme their way out of paying damages to deserving injured persons.
For the first several years of his career, Jim Parrish worked for, provided advice to and represented insurance companies in claims across the nation. However, after seeing the injustice of good people being deprived of fair and reasonable payment for life-changing injuries and damage, Jim decided to use the skills and knowledge he learned from inside the insurance industry to champion the rights of victims of harm and wrongdoing.
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