According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the busiest time of year for traveling long distances on the road starts on Thanksgiving and ends on New Year ’s Day. However, it is also a period where car accidents frequently occur, resulting in serious injuries and even fatalities.
If you plan on embarking on a long road trip for the holidays, you must be constantly aware of possible hazards that anyone can experience on the road, especially when snow and ice create dangerous driving conditions. Furthermore, you must also keep in mind of the driving behaviors of others around you.
The following are common driving hazards that occur during the holiday journey:
- Distracted driving. Because we depend on our cellphones to communicate with one another, keep up with current events, and conduct our daily routines, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of all accidents on the road. So if you are traveling far distances, put your phone away and watch out for motorists who use them while driving.
- Drunk driving. The holidays are a time to be merry, which often includes the consumption of alcohol. Nearly half of all motor vehicle accidents that resulted in death every year involve drunk drivers. Watch out for any signs of intoxication, such as swerving or changing lanes without signaling.
- Stressed driving. Whether it’s sitting in traffic for long periods of time or maneuvering through the madness of holiday shopping, there is no surprise that we feel an extra amount of pressure during the holidays. When people are stressed, they tend to perpetuate their emotions into their driving behaviors, which leads to reckless driving. Remember to always remain calm whenever you get behind the wheel.
- Fatigued driving. Long road trips mean hours and hours spent driving, which can result in feeling tired or sleepy while behind the wheel. Do not be afraid to switch driving responsibilities with another person in your car or rest at a motel for the night.