Safety Tips for Driving During the Holiday Season
While the holiday season is a time for celebration, it can also be a very dangerous time to travel. Many areas in New Jersey experience harsh winter weather, increased traffic on roadways, and accidents caused by distracted and impaired drivers.
Below, Lynch Law Firm, PC’s New Jersey car accident lawyers have provided several tips for you to follow if you plan on traveling for the holidays. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis and only charge our clients if we recover compensation.
Inspect Your Vehicle Before Leaving
Before leaving for your holiday travels, you should inspect your vehicle to make sure it is safe for long-distances. This includes:
- Checking that your tires have enough tread to properly grip the road and are properly inflated
- Checking your battery to ensure it is fully charged
- Checking fluids in your vehicle and filling all fluids to the top, including your windshield wiper fluid
- Checking your oil
- Performing required maintenance on your vehicle
- Clearing snow and ice from your vehicle before moving it
- Preparing an emergency kit for your vehicle stocked with emergency flares, jumper cables, a flashlight, extra batteries, blanket, shovel, toolkit and first-aid kit
Map Your Route in Advance
Before you begin your trip, consider mapping out your route in advance. Enter the location of your destination in your GPS device to understand your route and create alternative ones.
To avoid heavy traffic, plan on leaving early in the morning or before the holiday. Be sure to frequently check weather reports for details on upcoming storms or inclement conditions. Additionally, check the upcoming areas for closed roads or auto accidents that may cause hazardous roadways and traffic jams.
Each year, more drivers attempt to travel to their holiday destination. An increased number of motorists on the roadway creates a higher risk of being involved in an auto accident. For this reason, you should carefully watch out for other motorists while you are driving during the holiday season.
Drive defensively during the holidays. Look out for other motorists who may be speeding, driving erratically, or recklessly. Also, try to anticipate the actions of other drivers. If you see a motorist who may be driving recklessly, try to change lanes or distance yourself from his or her vehicle.
Follow Traffic Laws
It is important that you follow traffic laws, regardless of the time of year. However, driving cautiously and following local traffic laws may help you avoid an accident when more drivers are traveling on the roadway.
Be sure to follow the speed limit and other posted traffic signs and signals. Also, try to alert other drivers of your intended action. This includes using turn signals before you change lanes or applying your brakes with enough time to safely stop your vehicle.
Furthermore, avoid drinking any amount of alcohol if you plan on driving. Even one drink can impact a driver’s ability to safely drive. If you think you might drink ahead of time, make alternative plans by calling a taxi, using a rideshare program or getting a ride from a sober driver.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep Before Driving
You should always start your holiday travel well-rested. Before you begin your trip, be sure you get a full night’s sleep of six to eight hours. Getting enough sleep the night before you drive can help you stay alert while driving. It also reduces the risk of fatigued driving.
If you begin to feel tired or exhausted while driving, do not hesitate to take a break. Try to pull over to a safe location to take a quick 20-minute nap or however long you may need to feel well-rested. It may also help to get out of your vehicle and stretch or walk around until you feel refreshed.
Alternatively, consider traveling with another person who is able to drive and can take over for you when you feel tired.
Do Not Drive While Distracted
You should always avoid distractions while driving. However, this is especially important during the holiday season as there is typically an influx of motorists traveling on interstates and highways.
Be sure to keep electronic devices, like cellphones, out of sight while driving. This may prevent you from engaging in distracted behavior like texting or calling others while driving.
Additionally, do not eat while you drive. Eating or drinking forces you to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel, as well as direct your focus to your meal. If you need to eat during your trip, pull over to a safe location to finish your meal.
Furthermore, try to avoid in-depth conversations or lengthy interactions with your passengers. If you are traveling with children, try to have another adult in the car who can care for their needs.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
While traveling for the holidays’, it is important that you follow safe driving practices to safely reach your destination. Although you may drive cautiously, there is still a risk of being injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver.
When this occurs, Lynch Law Firm, PC’s New Jersey personal injury lawyers are ready to help. We are dedicated to defending accident victims and their right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee and only charge clients if we recover compensation for them.
Call (800) 518-0508 today to schedule your free consultation.