According to Forbes.com, the most dangerous day for drivers is Thanksgiving Day. New Year's Eve is another potentially deadly day to be on the road. With the holiday season right around the corner, it is a good idea to take extra care while behind the wheel. Read on to brush up on some tips for staying safe and avoiding car accidents.
Mind the Weather
One of the reasons that the cold-weather seasons might be more treacherous is that black ice, snow and sleet might be present. During Thanksgiving, many areas might have wet, slippery dead leaves on the ground, too. Keep these hazards in mind and take extra pains to avoid sliding and skidding. If conditions are dangerous, keep your speed below the posted speed limit, keep a safe distance from other cars, and remember not to use your cruise control in poor driving weather.
Don't Drive Tipsy
While many people like to have a few drinks while celebrating with family and friends, being even slightly tipsy can slow down your reflexes. Keep in mind that many others on the road will be partaking on holidays, and that you may need to be a defensive driver. If you will be drinking, make arrangements to stay the night or call for a cab. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
Be Vigilant on Weekends
As Forbes points out, holidays that fall on weekends can be more deadly simply because more people are out late on Friday and Saturday nights, or when there is no work or school the next day. Thanksgiving always falls on a long weekend, so if you can arrange to travel home on Friday morning instead of Thursday evening, you may be able to avoid being in or getting stuck behind a car accident.
Statistics show that flying is safer than driving. While you aren't going to be flying to the next town or to a relative's house that is only an hour away by car, it might be worth considering if you're crossing the country this holiday season. When you add up the cost of gasoline, hotel stays along the way and food during your long-distance travel, you might find that flying is not much more expensive than driving.
Get Enough Shuteye
Driving tired can be as dangerous as driving drunk, and during the holiday season, you might be operating on a sleep deficit. If you have far to go or if you had to start out early in the morning, try to arrange to stay overnight at your destination. If that's not possible, have a cup of coffee before heading out, and don't be afraid to pull over if you are getting too tired.
Wear Your Seatbelt
One of the best ways to avoid injury if you are in a fender-bender is to always wear your seatbelt. This applies whether you are the driver or passenger, and whether you're sitting in the front seat or the back. If you have children, make sure that they are restrained properly according to their ages and sizes. Babies and toddlers should be in rear-facing car seats, preschoolers should be in forward-facing five-point harnesses, and older kids should be in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old and 80 lbs.
Finally, it's important to know what to do if you should find yourself involved in a motor vehicle accident. Call the police to file a report, and call an ambulance if necessary. It's always a good idea, and in some states, the law, to see a doctor promptly after an auto accident. Also, don't hesitate to call a personal injury attorney if you think that you might need legal help in getting the services that you need. You can click here for more info on personal injury attorneys.
With any luck, you will return from your holiday travel unscathed and with no damage to your car. Drive carefully!