Celebrating the winter holidays is one of the most exciting times of the year. Most of us look forward to partaking of food and drinks in the company of our family and friends as well as giving and receiving gifts. What we don’t look forward to is all of the traffic and dangerous driving situations that can abound.
There are plenty of unusual travel hazards during the holiday season. During this time of year, the weather, daylight and driving conditions can be challenging. It’s always important to keep safety in mind, but the winter season brings along a massive increase in traffic and the madness of holiday shopping and partying. Not to mention the prolonged weather of the winter season that makes it hard to drive.
Getting around during the holidays can be exhausting and potentially dangerous, but being prepared and staying aware of the risks will ensure you have a safe and normal holiday season. Below we outline some tips on how to prepare and stay safe while driving this holiday season.
Make sure your car is good to go
The winter season can be hard on our vehicles. The cold driving conditions can freeze your engine, and snow and fog can make it hard to see other drivers. So it’s important to make sure your vehicle’s brakes, anti-freeze, windshield wipers, heater, and lights are in good shape before you head out. Mixing snow, sleet, and ice with rush hour can be a recipe for disaster, so prepare ahead of time. Check the weather before going out to make sure the roads are safe to drive on, and be sure to use an ice scraper to scrape off any ice on your windows that can affect your view.
With people visiting family and friends or going shopping, it’s expected for traffic to pick up around the holidays. Because of this, accidents and serious injury are likely to increase, so it’s important to stay conscious of safe driving as you shop or visit family and friends. It’s especially important to mind your speed during the winter, as the icy driving conditions can be dangerous. It’s recommended that drivers go at least five to ten miles slower than the speed limit during inclement weather.
During the winter, it’s easy to get road rage because of all the traffic. Always be in control of the situation by allowing aggressive drivers to pass and being aware of all signs of abnormal driving. It is important to keep in mind that the holidays are a time for joy and being grateful, so relax and enjoy the time you get to spend with family and friends.
Avoid Drinking and Driving
There will be business parties, family reunions and other festivities throughout the holiday season. And, often during this time of festivities and holidays, celebrations and dinners involve alcohol. If you’re planning on drinking, consider designating a driver before the festivities start or organize alternative modes of transportation. There’s always someone, especially in your family, who is willing to forgo the drinks just so that others can get home safely.
It’s an incredibly risky and selfish idea to drive drunk, especially during the holidays. Two to three times more people die of alcohol-related crashes on Christmas and New Year than any other time in the year, according to the National Institute for Alcohol and Alcoholism. As if the weather wasn’t bad enough, driving while intoxicated just increases the chances that you cause an accident or worse.
Also, you can consider using a service like Uber or Lyft. For the better part of a decade, these ridesharing services have made it easier and safer for people to go out and enjoy themselves without the need to get behind the wheel.
Do not be a threat to you or others on the road this holiday season. Plan in advance if you choose to indulge in alcoholic drinks for the safest safe travel services available to you.
Get Around by Bus or Trolley Service
It can be a frustrating struggle to get around during your holiday activities. Commuting around town on congested roads can be dangerous, and many of us would rather avoid the burden of sitting in traffic only to find out there’s no parking.
To avoid all the traffic and drama, consider using public transportation. Nowadays, the busses and trolley service may seem outdated or irrelevant with the advent of ridesharing services and deliver services, but they’re a great way to save money and getting around is a breeze.
During the holidays, these modes of public transportation can be very useful. They commute to all the important malls and stores where you can get your shopping done. Plus, using public transportation is a great way to support your community and meet people.