During the holiday season, drivers tend to be in a different headspace than the rest of the year. Many are driving to see their families, some are part of the rush to grab the best deals of the year on much-sought-after goods, and some are heading to another overtime shift at the overcrowded big box stores. With so many people on the roads, it’s important to understand the types of drivers you’ll be sharing the road with and what you can do to keep yourself safe this holiday season. Here are our five top tips for driving during the holiday season:
Get Enough Sleep
While this seems on its face to be odd advice for tips about staying safe on the roads, sleep is one of the single best ways to prevent an incredibly dangerous form of driving: fatigued driving. Studies analyzed by the National Safety Council have shown that without sleep, your reaction time and judgment begin to decline, to the point where at 20 hours awake, you have the equivalent mental ability of someone with a blood alcohol level of .08%, the legal limit. The only way to prevent fatigued driving is through proper sleep. Get at least seven hours a night, and you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to take on the roads.
Put the Cellphone Down
Phones are fantastic devices. They allow us to access human history with a few taps of the screen, call people across the world, and order anything we want with a simple swipe. The issue becomes that these devices, whether they are phones, car media centers, tablets, or other technological devices, are distracting, and when you’re driving, it can cause serious issues. Any time spent looking away from the road is time that roadway hazards can present themselves, meaning you will have less or no time to react.
If You Aren’t Sober, Do Not Drive
While driving with an over-the-legal-limit blood alcohol level is illegal, many do not know that any amount of alcohol, no matter how small, can affect your driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a fact sheet about drunk driving, and it shows that even in small quantities, alcohol can impair vision and judgment-making abilities. If you drink, consider taking public transportation or a rideshare/taxi service home.
Traffic Will Be Awful, So Stay Calm
One of the most important things to remember about holiday driving is that it will, sadly, be very packed. More cars are on the road during holidays and around holidays, and with more cars comes traffic, and with traffic comes frustration. Try to remember that you are part of the traffic, and everyone is equally as frustrated as you are right now. Many map apps on phones and computers give traffic information such as expected times of arrival or places with significant traffic. Before heading out, check where traffic is heavy, and adjust your route accordingly if needed.
Traffic Laws Exist For A Reason
When you’re under holiday stress, there comes a desire to do everything as fast as possible to get through everything you need to do in a day. It’s important to get all your errands done, yes, but you must follow all traffic laws. Stop signs are there for a reason, speed limits aren’t nebulously put around the place without thought, and red lights are not to be ignored. When you are on the road, follow all laws, as they exist to keep you safe and keep everyone around you safe.
We Work Hard For You
At Nance Cacciatore, we care about protecting you through all legal matters that lie ahead. Our Melbourne vehicle accident attorneys work to gather the evidence necessary to prove your case. If you suffer injuries in an accident, we’re here to answer your questions in a free consultation and give you peace of mind when you need it most.
Call us at (321) 233-9885 today, and discover how our team goes to work for you!