Everyone is traveling during the holiday season, whether it is driving a few states over to spend time with family or taking a much-needed vacation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 300 people die in drunk driving accidents during the time between Christmas and New Year each year. But in December alone, over 700 individuals lost their lives. This does not account for hazards on the road that are not intoxicated drivers. What are the holiday’s most dangerous road hazards, and how can you avoid an accident because of them?
Holiday season hazards
- Drunk drivers: Many people drink in excess around the holidays, think they are sober enough to drive home or back to their hotel, but end up drunk driving. It can be dangerous to share the road during the holiday season, as there is an increase in drunk drivers.
- Icy roadways: Icy pavement causes over 150,000 accidents each year. Snow and slush also pose great risk to drivers, as it is difficult for tires to maintain traction on slippery surfaces. High speeds and tight curves are especially dangerous to drivers when they are on roads slick with ice.
- Drowsy driving: Long hours traveling can make anyone tired, which is why drowsy driving is especially common over the holidays. Driver fatigue can make it easy to swerve into the wrong lane or end up in front of oncoming traffic.
Tips to staying safe
- Stay safe from drunk drivers: The best way to avoid an accident with a drunk driver is to watch for them on the road. If you spot a car that is speeding erratically or drifting between lanes, stay away.
- Stay safe on icy roadways: If there are unsafe road conditions, you best bet is to stay off the road. If you must go out, drive slowly and watch for large patches of snow or ice.
- Stay safe from drowsy driving: If you must drive when you are tired, having a passenger in the car can be very helpful. They can talk to you to keep you awake, and if you need it, you may be able to switch places, so you can get some rest.
Staying safe on the road over the holidays can be difficult, but it is not impossible, especially if you follow the tips listed above.