The holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, is a busy time for most people. As a result, the roads during this period are particularly crowded. Additionally, due to celebrations, there is an increased number of tired and intoxicated drivers on the roads during this time. It should come as no surprise that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are a few of the most dangerous times to be on the road. Additionally, snow, hail, and other adverse weather conditions during this time can make driving particularly dangerous.
To avoid ending up in an auto accident this season, motorists should make sure to follow some safety precautions. It might be impossible to eliminate the risk of encountering careless or reckless drivers, however we encourage motorists to utilize the following tips to stay safe while traveling this holiday season. If you are involved in an auto accident this holiday season that was caused by another party’s negligence, reach out to the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe for help.
Have a Plan (and Follow it)
Before heading out on the road, you should have a plan for where you are going. Not only should you know your destination, but you should also make sure to map your route and estimate the time it will take for you to arrive at your destination. While creating your plan, you should take into consideration the weather and avoid operating your vehicle in adverse weather conditions. You should also make sure to share your plan with your loved ones so they can reach out for help if you do not reach your destination.
Fully Prepare Your Vehicle
Make sure to inspect your vehicle for winter and to have any necessary work or repairs on your vehicle done in advance. You should also make sure to always keep your gas tank filled to avoid the vehicle’s lines freezing. Keep emergency equipment in your vehicle including a flashlight, jumper cables, an ice scraper, a snow brush, and flares.
Adequately Prepare for Long Trips
Long trips present various hazards, which is why it is critical to prepare sufficiently for long trips. This means making sure that your cell phone is adequately charged. For longer trips, you should also pack foods, drinks, blankets, pillows, and any medication that you are taking. You should also make sure to keep your loved ones informed about the status of your trip.
Leave for Your Destination Early
If you are driving during the holiday or weekend, you should plan for busy roads. Not only do people dislike rushing, but trying to rush to reach your destination also greatly increases your chances of ending up in a car crash. Instead of rushing, you should try to start off for your destination early enough that you can drive the speed limit, or more slowly if weather conditions call for it.
Lock Up Your Vehicle
You should make sure to keep your vehicle locked while traveling. Keep your vehicle locked any time you park, as well, and avoid letting strangers have access to your vehicle. This keeps your vehicle safe as well as prevents people from stealing items out of your vehicle.
Take Breaks While Driving
If you are driving a long distance, you should make sure to take routine breaks every two to three hours. Take breaks even if you feel like you do not need one. Taking a break helps to make sure that you stay alert and can also help to lower stress.
Stay on Well-Lit Roads
The quality of roads can vary greatly. This holiday season, you should try to only travel on well-lit roads and highways. Even though these roads might be more crowded, well-lit roads are better-maintained and more routinely patrolled by law enforcement. If something does happen, you will have an easier time responding if you are on a better-maintained road than a less traveled one.
Avoid taking unnecessary risks while driving that could result in you either getting lost or stranded. This is especially true if you are traveling alone or with children. Instead, it is much safer to stick to the clearly marked routes and drive predictably.
Always be Prepared
The Boy Scouts have this motto for a reason. You should know who you will contact for roadside assistance if a crash occurs while you are driving. It also helps to plan ahead exactly how you will respond and what you will do if you end up in a car accident. This helps to avoid feeling overwhelmed or unprepared if you do end up in an accident.
Stay Safe in an Emergency
If your vehicle stalls or gets stuck, you should not try too hard to get going again. Instead, you should move a disabled or damaged vehicle as far out of traffic’s way as you can and then stay with your vehicle. You should also turn on emergency flashers, place something bright on your vehicle’s antenna or windows, and shine the dome light. You should also avoid running your car only as required to remain warm. Additionally, it is vital for safety to make sure that the vehicle’s exhaust is not blocked.
Look Like You Belong
After you arrive at your destination or stop while along your route, you should make sure to safely stow luggage as well as maps and any other items that might show you are a tourist or someone unfamiliar with the area. Place anything of value in a covered storage area like a trunk.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident this holiday season, you should not hesitate to speak with a compassionate attorney. Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP today to schedule a free case evaluation. Stay safe while traveling this holiday and best wishes to all!
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900