The time between Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day is a busy time of year – both in our personal lives and on the roads. It is also known as one of the most dangerous times to be on the road due to heavy traffic, distracted and drunk drivers, stress, and inclement weather.
AAA predicts that that there will be nearly 4 million more people on the road this Thanksgiving alone and that all holiday travel will be near pre-pandemic numbers. If you are one of the millions of people planning a road trip this holiday season, here are eight tips to help get you and your family to your destination safely.
Holiday Travel Safety Tips
- Prepare your vehicle
Be sure to have any necessary maintenance done before your trip. Check your vehicles fluids, brakes, headlights, windshield wipers, tires, and turn signals. It is also highly recommended that you have both an emergency and first aid kit in your vehicle. Your emergency kit should include jumper cables, ice scraper, flashlight, and warning devices such as flares and triangle reflectors. Having a portable cell phone charger is a must and don’t forget the snacks!
- Leave early
During holiday travel, try to avoid peak times of the days when heading down the road. Try to leave as early as possible in the morning and a day earlier before most everyone else to beat the rush.
- Be patient
Heavy traffic can be frustrating for everyone. It is important that you remain calm and relaxed as best as possible so that your own driving is not affected. Control the urge to tailgate or speed and always ensure there is plenty of room to make a quick stop.
- Take breaks and get plenty of sleep
During long car trips, you should stop every two to three house to get out of the car and stretch your legs. Taking breaks helps keep you alert. It’s also important to ensure you are properly rested and have had plenty of sleep. A drowsy driver is a dangerous driver and the cause of many holiday-season crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100,000 accidents nationwide are caused by drowsy drivers annually. Share the driving responsibilities with another driver, if possible.
- Monitor roads and weather
Be sure to plan your route and stay up to date on the weather and road conditions during the time you will be traveling. Keep your plans flexible so that you can adjust your trip or alter your route. If you do run into inclement weather on the road, be patient and use extra caution. It’s always better to show up a few hours late then not at all!
- Practice defensive driving and buckle up
Accidents can happen anywhere and anytime. Pay attention to your surroundings and other drivers. Be sure to avoid distractions in your own vehicle and buckle up. Seat belts save lives!
- Keep the kids entertained
Everyone that has traveled long distances with children can relate to the cringeworthy words “Are we there yet?” To help keep everyone safe, have plenty of activities for the kids including movies, handheld video game consoles, books, and other items to keep those kiddos entertained.
- Designate a driver
Drunk driving crashes increase during the holidays and unfortunately can turn the most wonderful time of the year into the most devastating for some. If you are like many adults and your holiday celebrations include alcohol, be sure to designate a driver BEFORE you start drinking. When driving, be alert and know how to recognize an impaired driver. Lastly, always buckle up. Many drunk driving deaths occur because the victim was not wearing a seat belt.
The Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law team hopes that everyone has safe travels over the holiday season – whether you are driving to gather with family locally or making a trip outside of the state.
Injured in an accident over the holidays?
If the unfortunate crash happens and you have been injured through no fault of your own, contact Huffman & Huffman for advice and help as soon as possible after your accident. Obtaining legal advice about your potential claim is always free. Not obtaining counsel could cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress. Some of the costliest mistakes people make with their claim are made right after the accident or relying on the insurance company for help. Let us do the heavy lifting and help you navigate these challenging times so that you can focus on recovery and spending time with your loved ones during the holidays. Let our family help your family!
Contact Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, PLLC at (757) 599-6050 to schedule your free case evaluation. We have offices in Newport News and Virginia Beach, and we are happy to come to meet with you at your home or wherever is most convenient for you. We serve clients all over Hampton Roads and the surrounding areas.
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