When driving during the holidays, you need to be super careful. Bad weather, distracted drivers, and those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are significant hazards. In this guide, you will learn six practical things to do to make sure you drive safely through the holiday period.
1. Do Not Drive Under the Influence
If you plan to drink alcohol at any event or use recreational drugs, be sure to make arrangements in advance for a safe ride home. You may choose to use a designated driver who agrees not to drink or use drugs and gives everyone a ride home. If you use a ride-share service or taxi, wear a mask to reduce possible exposure to COVID.
Another alternative is to have a way to stay in a spare room at the party house or get a room near the event if it is within walking distance of a hotel. You can select a place where you can sleep it off and then drive home safely the next day when sufficiently recovered from a hangover.
2. Watch Out for Distractions and Other Distracted Drivers
Distractions in your vehicle may come from noisy passengers, loud music, changing the radio, texting or talking on the phone while driving, and eating or drinking something.
Be aware that all the festive times during the holidays also come with everybody rushing to do errands and go shopping. If you notice how easily you may be distracted, be aware that other drivers may be experiencing the same thing.
3. Drive Defensively
Expect the unexpected from other drivers. Drivers may fail to look in the side mirror before pulling into your lane. They may cut you off or turn in front of your vehicle, forcing you to slam on the brakes. They may tailgate your vehicle. They can drive too fast or too slow.
Have an idea where you would turn the vehicle in an emergency stop. Do not assume that driving off the road will be an option, as others may make the same choice. Leave plenty of extra space between your vehicle and the ones in front of you.
4. Stay Focused on Driving
Be aware of your surroundings. Keep up with traffic at a safe speed. If possible, avoid driving at night. Frequently check your mirrors. Be careful of blind spots. Look over your shoulder when changing lanes.
5. Plan Your Trip
Ensure the vehicle is well-maintained and the fluid levels are topped off. Check weather and traffic conditions before setting out on a trip.
Allow plenty of time to get where you are going. Use a map or GPS location system. Make stops to get gas before the tank runs dry. If you are driving on a long road trip, be aware that road hypnosis may cause you to lose focus, become drowsy, and potentially fall asleep at the wheel. Take plenty of breaks and do not continue when you are too tired to drive safely.
6. Do Not Leave Any Items in the Vehicle
Car break-ins of the smash-and-grab type are very common during the holidays. Anything visible inside the car, such as a purse, bags, gifts, luggage, electronics, etc., may attract thieves to break the windows to steal it.
Be sure to save the number of your attorney and have it with you. Call (281) 475-4535 for a free consultation if you get into an accident.