7 Tips for Driving Safe During the Holiday Season

family traveling for the holidaysTraveling during the holiday season can always be hectic as the number of drivers on U.S. roadways increases each year. To stay safe while driving during the holidays, you will need to watch out for several hazards, including inclement weather and negligent drivers.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, consider contacting Roden Law’s experienced car accident lawyers in Macon to discuss your claim. We understand the risks involved with traveling during the holidays and are ready to help auto accident victims pursue the compensation they need. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.

To stay safe while traveling during the holiday season, follow these tips while preparing for your trip:

1. Make Sure Your Vehicle is Ready for Long-Distance Travel

Safe long-distance travel requires that your vehicle is in tip-top shape. Some ways to ensure your vehicle is ready for long-distance travel include:

  • Checking the vehicle with an auto mechanic before leaving
  • Regularly maintaining your vehicle throughout the year
  • Making any required repairs before leaving for a long-distance trip
  • Checking your vehicle’s seat belts and brakes
  • Reducing clutter inside your car
  • Always using your seat belt and requiring your passengers to do the same

Following the steps listed above may prevent your vehicle from breaking down during your travels. Also, try to minimize distractions you may encounter. This includes putting away your cellphone while driving and getting enough sleep the night before your trip to avoid drowsy driving.

2. Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

Another useful holiday-travel tip is to plan ahead before leaving for your trip. This includes:

  • Ensuring there are enough rest stops scheduled throughout your trip
  • Traveling with another person who can drive in case of an emergency
  • Plotting out the route to your destination before you leave
  • Informing others of your travel plans before your leave
  • Making sure all cellphones are fully charged before leaving
  • Ensuring you have a clear view out of the rear of your vehicle by packing appropriately
  • Avoiding heavy meals before driving
  • Getting enough sleep before you drive

3. Be Aware of Changing Weather

Weather can be a dangerous factor while traveling long distances during the holidays. A serious rain storm or snowfall can delay or cancel your trip. At worst, inclement weather can make the roads dangerous and puts you at risk of being injured in a car accident caused by roadway hazards.

Before you leave for your trip, check local weather services as sources of information to tell you what the weather may be like in the following days. If there are signs that you may encounter poor or dangerous weather, try to avoid it by re-routing your trip or delaying your start date, if possible.

During your trip, try to listen to weather reports as frequently as possible. If you have passengers traveling with you, ask them to provide weather updates during your trip. If you encounter dangerous weather, leave the road as soon as possible and find a safe place to wait until the weather clears and it is safe to resume traveling.

4. Avoid Heavy Traffic

Highways and interstates are known to become congested with traffic during the holiday season. To avoid heavy holiday traffic, try to plan your route ahead of time and stay updated through your car’s radio or GPS device.

Try to find alternative routes or use less busy roads to avoid serious traffic. Additionally, consider traveling during a time of the day that is less busy, such as early in the morning, when you may encounter less traffic.

5. Always Drive Defensively

The most dangerous hazards on the roadway during the holiday season are reckless or negligent drivers. To avoid collisions with dangerous drivers, remember to drive defensively at all times.

This may require you to constantly check your surroundings and anticipate sudden movements by other motorists. Remember to drive within the speed limit and provide enough room between your vehicle and others to have enough time to react to sudden stops or other erratic behavior.

Likewise, distance yourself from other motorists who may be driving recklessly. If you feel unsafe around another vehicle, switch lanes, speed up or slow down to create enough distance between yourself and the other driver.

6. Follow Traffic Laws

It is imperative that you always follow traffic laws while driving. This includes following the speed limit and yielding at the appropriate times.

However, you should frequently watch for changes in traffic laws, especially if you are traveling through multiple states. Be sure to watch out for changes in the speed limit and whether the state you are traveling in has left-lane laws that require slower traffic to move to the right lane.

Additionally, remember to move to the far-left lane when you are approaching a broken-down vehicle or law enforcement on the roadway.

7. Prepare for Emergencies

You should always be prepared for any emergency before leaving for your holiday trip. Keep your cellphone fully charged, carry batteries for flashlights, and pack a spare tire and other important items in your vehicle.

Furthermore, you may consider preparing an emergency travel kit to take with you during your trip. Your kit should include basic supplies such as:

  • First-aid kit and supplies
  • Thick blankets
  • Flashlights and replacement batteries
  • Road flares
  • Nutrition bars, water and energy-rich food
  • Rock salt, sand or even cat litter for traction with tires

Contact Roden Law for a Free Consultation

If you were injured in a car accident during the holiday season, Roden Law is here to help. During your free consultation, our personal injury lawyers in Macon will discuss your car accident in further detail. This includes determining which factors may have caused your car accident and whether other another driver is liable for your injuries.

We charge our clients on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for you.