Our post last month indicated that lower gas prices are leading more and more Americans to choose road travel for their holiday plans. Whether you are out doing last minute Christmas shopping or embarking on a holiday road trip, you need to be prepared. Hazardous road conditions, heavy traffic, and anxious drivers out in droves are inevitable.
It seems a worthy time to remind you of our 10 simple tips for staying safe during holiday driving. Use these tips to maximize the safety of yourself and your passengers, and to decrease the stress of holiday driving.
Dellino Law Group wishes you a Happy Holiday Season and urges you to drive safely.
- Don't drink and drive. If there will be drinking at your holiday get-together, choose a designated driver who will remain alcohol free.
- Make sure the car is ready. Be sure your vehicle is properly maintained, in good shape for travel, and ready for winter driving conditions.
- Map your route out ahead of time when possible. Have a plan and be aware of projected weather conditions.
- Buckle up! Ensure you and your passengers are properly restrained in seat belts and car safety seats.
- Avoid fatigue. Get a good night sleep the night before, take regular breaks, and share the driving if possible. If you are tired, pull off the road to a rest area.
- Have an emergency plan. Have a cell phone and charger with you so it can be used in case of an emergency. Keep the contact information for emergency roadside assistance handy.
- Do not text while driving and minimize cell phone use in order to keep your full attention on the road. Utilize a hands-free device if you need to use your cell phone. See our prior blog post for details about cell phone and texting while driving laws in Washington State.
- Keep a safe following distance, allowing for ample time to react to the traffic around you. If someone is tailgating you, allow them to pass. Don't try to compete with impatient and aggressive drivers.
- Watch your speed. Drive to the conditions and don't drive over the speed limit. Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you are going so you are not in a rush.
- Remain calm. If you feel stressed or irritable, take some deep breaths and stay calm. Don't drive with road rage – This compromises the safety of yourself and the people around you.