Whether you realize it or not, when you think you are just reaching for the radio for a few seconds, you are momentarily putting yourself at risk. On a long drive, as your mind drifts off and you daydream about other things while you’re on the road for hours, this is another distraction that can make you prone to collisions. And of course, if you see anything in the distance or side of the road, you are experiencing a visual distraction.
A large percentage of all traffic crashes or near-crashes are related to distracted driving. As cell phones shifted to smartphones and became useful tools for driving assistance, there are now more distractions than ever.
Holidays are a dangerous time for drivers. Statistically, Independence Day is the worst day to be driving anywhere in the United States. As for the November and December months, holiday shopping, travel, and busier roads can mean higher collision rates and more distractions. It’s a time of celebration, but it’s also a busy, chaotic time.
When you’re driving during the busy holiday season (or any time, for that matter), keep the following tips in mind to ensure safe travel.
Keep your hands off your phone.
Did you know that active phone use goes up dramatically during the holiday season? Specifically, during the Christmas holiday, active phone use goes up to 33 percent higher than usual.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death of any type of major transportation. The National Safety Council estimates that in 2019, 422 fatalities as a result of car accidents will occur on Christmas Day.
In order to protect yourself while on the road, it’s a good idea to invest in hands-free equipment and voice commands to stay aware of your surroundings.
Wear your seat belt.
Seatbelts are shown to be 45 percent effective in preventing fatal car accidents for front-seat passengers. In fact, the National Safety Council forecasts that 164 lives (and even more) could be saved during the holiday season with the added protection of seat belts.
In a study conducted by TrueMotion, a company of driving apps, it was discovered that speed rates are higher than usual during the holiday season as well—a 33 percent spike.
Being late to your destination is far better than getting yourself or another person into a dangerous or deadly car accident.
Keep on the lookout for distracted drivers.
It’s apparent when someone doesn’t have their eyes on the road—slight swerving and not using signals can be a clear sign that someone doesn’t fully have their eyes on the road.
Especially in the winter, when inclement conditions can cause anyone to unexpectedly slide out of control, it’s important to keep an eye on the others driving around you.
Don’t drive while impaired.
The National Safety Council reports that on Christmas Day of 2016, the percentage of impaired-driving fatalities related to alcohol made up 32 percent of all fatalities on that day, whereas the annual average that year was 28 percent.
The holidays call for fun and festivities, and alcohol is no exception. However, be responsible about alcohol consumption if you are driving or use a designated driver if you are attending events where you plan on drinking. In 2017, fatal accidents that involved a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08g/dL or more made up 29 percent of all traffic fatalities. Stay safe, and don’t become a statistic.
In addition, around the holiday season, there’s no predicting what types of inclement weather will occur. Check out these tips for driving in the snow, and be sure to employ responsible driving techniques while navigating the roads in the winter.
Since you can’t avoid all disasters when it comes to driving during the holiday season, it’s a good idea to give yourself an extra layer of protection with an affordable car insurance plan. Get in touch and find out how you can get started.