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How to Drive Safely During the Holidays

During the holiday season, many people find themselves on the road to go shopping, visit loved ones, or just to look at the holiday lights. Unfortunately, the holidays can be a dangerous time to be on the road. On top of the crowds of people who are all in a hurry, drivers also have to contend with harsh weather conditions that create road hazards. Before hitting the road this holiday season, keep a few important safety tips in mind.

  • Get a Tune Up. Cold weather can wreak havoc on a car, so be sure that everything is in working condition before setting out. Tire pressure tends to decrease when the temperature drops, so be sure that there is air in the tires to avoid a dangerous blowout.
  • Leave Plenty of Time. Some of the most dangerous driving situations occur when someone is trying to meet an unrealistic schedule. Leave early to account for traffic as well as the possibility that reduced speed with be necessary. Speeding is dangerous at any time of year but especially when there may be ice or snow on the roads.
  • Stay Alert. When traveling distances for a visit, be sure to take plenty of breaks. Highway hypnosis can cause a driver to zone out and veer off the road, or worse. Consider traveling with a friend or family member who can share in the driving for especially long trips. Do not get distracted by phone calls or texts, which is an important tip for driving all year round.
  • Do Not Give in to Road Rage. During the holidays, there tend to be more aggressive drivers on the road because people are stressed out and in a hurry. If someone is driving aggressively, simply let them pass and stay out of their way. It is important to remain in control of the situation and to avoid any dangerous confrontations on the road.
  • Have a Designated Driver. Of course, anyone under the age of 21 should not be consuming alcohol during the holidays or at any other time. However, those who are of age may indulge in more adult beverages than usual when attending holiday parties. Keep everyone on the road safe by having a designated driver who does not drink at all over the course of the night.

The holidays can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year if everyone exercises a bit of extra caution on the roads.


*Photo Courtesy of Marine Corps New York via Creative Commons License