The holiday season can be a dangerous time for motorists. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 500 Americans die in drunk driving accidents during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day every year. With shopping, parties and traveling to see out-of-state family, the volume of drivers dramatically increases, contributing to an uptick in road collisions.
When the time comes to celebrate, keep these safety tips in mind to prevent alcohol-related fatalities.
Get a ride
If you plan to have a few drinks, you should also plan a safe way home. Ride with a family member or friend who agrees to serve as the designated driver. If you live in an area with taxi service and/or rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, you can pay a sober driver.
Wear your seat belt
No matter how short your drive, your car’s seat belt could save your life in a collision. If you have children, transport them in properly fitted car safety seats. Children younger than 12 should never ride in the front.
Schedule travel carefully
Some days are more hazardous than others for highway travelers. The days before and after a holiday tend to see a spike in serious accidents because of the volume of cars on the road. Halloween and New Year’s Eve also show an increased accident risk.
Practice defensive driving
Give yourself plenty of distance from other vehicles so you can stop or switch lanes if a driver makes an unexpected move such as slamming on the brakes. If you notice another driver behaving erratically, get as far away from him or her as safely possible. When the situation is serious, pull over and call 911. In bad weather, drive slowly and double your following distance to avoid an accident.
The holiday season should be a time for connecting with family and friends. Avoid a serious tragedy with these tips to avoid hazards like impaired and distracted drivers.