With the holiday season in full swing, it is important to review the most important safety tips for driving during this time of year. Whether you are just graduating from new driving training or have years of experience, there are risks on the road during the holidays. To help you have a safe and festive holiday season, here are the five best safety tips for holiday driving.
- Schedule extra time for driving. Drivers engage in riskier behaviors when they are in a hurry. If you are going to an appointment or have some sort of schedule to keep, schedule in extra time to get there. If you hit heavy traffic or experience bad weather, it is important that you feel calm and drive safely. Having extra time scheduled means you can calm down and focus on driving safely without the added stress of being late.
- Plan around weather. If you are planning to take a road trip or just going somewhere out of town, plan your driving schedule around the weather. A 30-minute trip can turn into a 60-minute trip in bad weather. To save yourself time and risk, go before the storm comes or wait until it calms down and the roads are cleared. If you do get stuck in bad weather, remember to slow down and watch for black ice.
- Never drive drunk. Holiday parties are well known for having good food and plenty of drinks. If you plan to drink, plan to have someone else drive home. Creating a plan with another person on who will be the designated driver or arranging for a ride home in advance ensures that you will not be tempted to drive yourself home. Too often people drink and then think they are capable of driving when they actually aren’t, creating a dangerous situation for themselves and others on the road.
- Avoid distractions. Heavier traffic, slippery roads, and people in a hurry all combine into some dangerous situations. Commit to yourself that you will avoid being distracted while driving. Put your phone away, limit conversations, don’t eat or apply makeup, and just focus on the road. Drivers who are focused and avoid distractions are the safest drivers on the road.
- Drive defensively. During the holidays, more drivers are on the road than normal. Everyone is rushing around doing holiday shopping, going to parties, and visiting family. Keep your eyes on traffic and drivers who may pull in front of you. Always keep space open around your vehicle so you can have time to change lanes if someone suddenly cuts you off, brakes, or slides on ice. These are all great defensive driving techniques.
When you apply these five safety tips, you are more likely to have a safer driving experience any time of year. Have a safe holiday season!