The holiday season for traffic accidents officially begins tomorrow, officially. Many people have already begun their travels. Tomorrow and Friday may be the two most dangerous days of the year for highway travel. We hope all motor vehicle travelers will take the appropriate steps to be as safe as possible on the nation’s highways this year.
Every year, 13,000 people die in crashes caused by speeding. Each year, approximately 9,000 people are killed or seriously injured due to ejection from a vehicle – most often because they were not wearing a seat belt. Distracted driving is on the rise – texting while driving, eating and drinking while driving, talking on the phone while driving, etc.
Here are a few reminders to help you stay safe on our highways during holiday travel.
- Have your vehicle serviced before you hit the road.
- Download our app before you travel, in case you need it: available in the apple store and in the google store (android).
- Stop as necessary to ensure you do not run out of gas and end up on the side of the road.
- Exit your car from the side away from traffic.
- If it is dark, place flares or reflectors around your vehicle.
- Allow extra time for your trip during the holidays. Speeding is a factor in many holiday vehicle crashes.
- Don’t drink and drive. Don’t use drugs and drive. Don’t take prescription medication and drive if you do not know how the medication affects your reflexes and your mental processes and judgment.
- Don’t engage in dangerous driving practices.
- Don’t try to retrieve something from the floor or the back while driving.
- Don’t engage in behaviors that cause you to be distracted.
- Ensure that everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained: seat belts for adults, accepted child safety seats for children under the age of 8.
- Don’t drive when fatigued.
- Don’t engage in aggressive driving.
- Slow down when driving in bad weather.
- When passing another vehicle, always follow safe passing procedures.
- Remain alert to the actions of drivers of vehicles near you.
- Use extra caution when driving on rural roads, especially at night, at dusk, and at dawn, when many animals are crossing roadways. Keep in mind that weather may drastically reduce visibility.
- Remain alert to your surroundings and road hazards that could cause a crash.
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel.
- Limit distracting or dangerous activity inside the vehicle, or pull off the road until order is restored.
- Stop often enough that you can prevent hypnotism due to unchanging terrain.
Safe driving practices will help you keep you and your family safe on the highways. These practices will also help you keep other drivers, and their passengers, safe on the roads. Above all, use good common sense about when to stop, where to stop, and courteous and safe driving practices. A little bit of extra caution will help to keep you safe on our highways during holiday travel.