Navigating the Festive Roads: Tips for a Safe Holiday Drive
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also the time when some drivers take the holiday spirit a bit too far. During December, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities surge by over 25 percent, and this heightened risk continues through New Year’s Day. When you factor in snowy or icy conditions, distracted drivers, and the early sunset of winter, the road can quickly become a more dangerous place.
Adding to the complexity, the holidays can be stressful for many households. Last-minute shopping or trying to juggle multiple holiday parties in a single day can lead to confusion and stress. Expect to encounter distracted and fatigued drivers during this busy time.
Here are some valuable tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe on the roadways during this festive season:
- Drive Defensively: While it’s a hectic time, avoid the temptation to rush. Safety should always be your top priority. Be vigilant and mindful of drivers around you, as they may be in a hurry even if you aren’t. Continuously assess the traffic ahead, behind, and to your sides so you can react swiftly and avoid unsafe situations caused by other drivers.
- Don’t Drink and Drive: Alcohol impairs your reaction time and decision-making abilities. Even a small amount can turn a preventable accident into a tragedy. It’s safest to abstain from alcohol entirely before getting behind the wheel. Plan for a designated driver or alternative transportation if you intend to celebrate with alcoholic beverages.
- Plan for the Weather: The winter holidays can bring unexpected snow or ice storms, creating hazardous driving conditions. Check the weather forecast before setting out, and if it predicts dangerous weather, consider postponing your trip. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is winter-ready, including having appropriate tires and emergency supplies on hand.
- Get Adequate Rest: Fatigue can be just as dangerous as alcohol. It leads to slowed reaction times and, in extreme cases, even falling asleep at the wheel. Prioritize getting enough rest before embarking on long journeys. If fatigue sets in during your trip, find a safe place to rest or switch drivers with a trusted co-passenger.
With a bit of foresight and a generous helping of caution, you can help ensure that this holiday season is both safe and enjoyable for you and your family. Remember, the gift of safety is one that keeps on giving, ensuring everyone gets to enjoy the festivities for years to come. The team at The Standard would like to extend our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for a wonderful holiday season.
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