Everyone knows that the holiday season is a busy time and this means that most of us are on the road more often. The holiday season often brings both an increase in traffic and stress.
This can cause you to worry about driving in holiday traffic or anxiety about the safety of your loved ones who may be driving. Here are some helpful safety tips for avoiding car accidents over the holidays.
No matter your age or driving ability, always follow the traffic laws. Wear a seatbelt, do not speed and do not engage in distracted driving.
Remember that distracted driving involves more than just using your phone while driving. It is anything that takes your attention away from the primary task of driving, such as adjusting a navigation or music system, looking at scenery, eating or talking to a passenger.
Children and teenagers
When you are driving with children, always make sure they have seatbelts on and use age-appropriate car seats and booster seats. Make sure all children are properly seated and secure before driving. One way to do this is to buckle children in and put a large or puffy coat over them, rather than trying to maneuver a seat belt around a coat.
You may be especially worried if your children have grown into teenagers and are now driving themselves. Talk with them about the increased traffic on the roads over the holidays and stress the importance of careful driving.
Remind them that not only are there more drivers on the roads, but that there are also more likely to be intoxicated drivers. Teenagers do not have as much experience dealing with drunk or distracted drivers, so educate them on how to how to handle this type of situation.
Explain that if they sense a driver is intoxicated or distracted, they should stay as far away from them as possible and pull over to a safe place if they cannot get away. Many accidents involving teenagers happen at night, which is the same time drunk drivers are usually on the roads, so encourage them to pay extra attention when driving at night.
You may not have children, but you might have elderly parents who still drive, which can cause you anxiety, as well. Many older individuals want to keep driving as long as possible to maintain a sense of independence and social connection. This is especially true when it comes to visiting family and friends for the holidays.
Help your parents out when they are going to be driving. Plan safe routes for them that avoid dark or high traffic areas. Research routes with them before they leave so both of you know where they are going.
Suggest that they have an eye exam as the holiday season approaches. The extra hours of darkness and bad weather in the winter make it harder to see when driving so having a current eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
Following this advice can reduce your chance of an accident, but you never have control over other drivers. If you find yourself the victim of an accident that you believe is the other driver’s fault, there are legal options available to you.