The holidays are supposed to be a time for families and friends to celebrate being together. For many people, it is a season to rejoice, be grateful, and bask in the warmth and love of those around us. Unfortunately, not everyone we care about lives right around the corner.
Travel has almost become synonymous with the holidays. Droves of people take to roads every year, hoping to be able to spend the holiday season with those they care about most. One survey indicates that nearly 63 percent of Americans or 161 million adults will travel for the holidays this year. Many of those travelers will choose to arrive by car.
While the holidays are supposed to be a celebration of joy, they don’t always turn out that way. Almost nothing is more tragic than a serious accident near the holidays. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculates that in 2018, 1,087 motorists lost their lives between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
If you are planning a holiday trip this year, be sure to stay safe on the roads. The legal team at Veron Bice, LLC has a few tips to help you make the most of your holiday travel plans and remain accident-free.
Tips for Safe Travel
If you are going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house this year, keep in mind these five safety tips to help you get there safe and sound.
Service Your Car Ahead of Time
Before you head out on your holiday adventure, take some time to have your car inspected or serviced. Be sure that it’s in working condition, lights and signals are functioning, and your tires are in good condition. It helps to be proactive and find potential problems before they turn into a major roadside disaster. You may also want to have the oil changed and check the fluid levels in your vehicle. Don’t forget to top off your tanks with antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid.
Pack an Emergency Roadside Kit
Even if your car is in tip-top shape, accidents can still happen. Always be prepared and carry an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle. A basic kit should include a spare tire, jack, flashlight, snow chains, and jumper cables. You should also carry a blanket or extra jacket, non-perishable food, first-aid kit, ice scraper, batteries, bottled water, cell phone charger, and road flares. If you have room, you may also want to consider carrying sand or cat litter. These items can help you get a little more traction if you are stuck on the side of an icy road.
Plan Your Route Ahead of Time
When it comes to hitting the road for the holidays, don’t wing it. Plan ahead. Map your route before you leave and know where you are going to stop along the way. Give yourself plenty of time, and don’t rush to get to your destination. You will want to try to account for construction delays and traffic slowdowns. You should also check the weather forecast in the days leading up to your trip and the day of the trip for weather alerts, road closures, and hazardous driving conditions. Always let your family or friends know the route you are taking, when you are leaving, and when they should expect you to arrive.
Rest Before You Drive
Get a good night’s sleep before your road trip. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, according to numerous studies. You want to be well-rested and alert while on the road. If you find yourself nodding off, yawning frequently, or feeling drowsy, pull over and take a quick power nap for about 20 minutes. Do not rely on loud music or an open window to keep you awake and alert.
On long road trips, it can be tempting to stay entertained with cell phones or videos. Yet, distracted driving is consistently one of the most dangerous driving behaviors. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2019. Avoid using the phone, texting, and other sources of distraction while on the road.
Talk to an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Making it to your destination safely should be your top priority. Unfortunately, it isn’t everyone’s priority. Negligent or reckless drivers can ruin the holiday season in the blink of an eye.
If you are involved in a serious accident near the holidays, you don’t have to cope alone. No matter the season, the team at Veron Bice, LLC is here to help you recover the compensation that you deserve after being in an accident that wasn’t your fault. For a free consultation, reach out to our office at 337-310-1600.