The holiday season is a great time to reconnect with loved ones, but preparing for unsolicited life advice and endless demands for group pictures are just a small part of the planning requirements. According to AAA, the 2018 holiday season is seeing a record-busting 112.5 travelers which translate to one in three Americans. Extra holiday traveling can lead to a lot of family fun, but it can also cause, create, or result in extra roadside dangers. The last thing anyone wants is being involved in a fatal car crash or being notified that a loved one was. Fortunately, there are some simple but effective driving tips to help ensure everyone can ring in the New Year together.
Hope for the Best But Plan for the Worst
Pad your schedule prior to leaving for your destination. Sure, the trip may take three hours in perfect conditions. But weather, holiday traffic, and erratic drivers may easily cause unexpected delays. So, hope for the best to keep spirits high, but plan for the worst. Leave early enough to ensure rushing isn’t an issue. And keep games and activities for the kids, emergency kits, charged cell phones, and the number to Michigan accident injury attorney in the car.
Keep Your Distance and Your Cool
Regardless of how much you prepare and how careful you are, no one can control anyone’s road or driving behavior besides their own. Implement an extra defensive mode. Pay more attention to the road than what’s going on inside the vehicle. Give other drivers respect, patience, and space. Slow down and increase the distance between cars. And if erratic driving occurs on the road, pull over or find a rest stop for a while to take a few deep breaths and regain your peace of mind.
Watch for Impaired Pedestrians
Pedestrian accidents have risen for years and they only increase around the holidays. But it may come as some surprise that impaired pedestrians, as opposed to impaired drivers, are often the cause of those accidents. Pedestrian fatalities increased by almost 30% between 2007 and 2016, and approximately one-third of all pedestrian fatalities are due to individual impairment. So watch for those pedestrians because they may not be watching for you.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Drunk driving crashes result in over 10,000 annual fatalities nationwide. But according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 300 of those occur the last week of the year. Not only is drunk driving against the law in every state, but it’s also a selfish act that can result in the incarceration, injuries, or death of yourself and/or others. There’s nothing wrong with ringing in the New Year with some bubbly. But getting behind the wheel afterward can be a deadly mistake. Plan for the event by calling a friend for a ride, arranging a designated driver, or calling an Uber or taxi to get you home safely.
Report Road Dangers
Never use a cell phone yourself when driving or you’ll become as impaired as an actual impaired driver. But if you see reckless or dangerous driving behavior and can pull over, report it. Call in the road marker info and whatever details you can recall about the car and situation. Better yet, if you have a passenger in the car with you, have them take pictures and report those directly so you can focus on the road. And if you or someone else needs a Michigan accident injury attorney, we’re just a call away.