How to stay safe on the road during the holidays

Nov 29, 2017 | By: Christina Goldberg

‘Tis the season for three of the six most dangerous holidays to be on the road, all within a six-week window. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s rank high for a variety of reasons. It’s important to be aware of potential driving hazards so you can stay safe.

The holidays present a myriad of factors that could contribute to crashes on the road. From extra time off work to increased travel to spend time with family, people are typically out and about more during this time of year.

Be alert while driving

The holidays bring pressure to buy all the presents, prepare all the food, deck all the halls and attend all the parties. This leaves increased potential for stressed and fatigued drivers. In fact, U.S. News and World Report has very interesting things to say about “Drowsy Driving” being worse than drunk driving.

Allow plenty of time to get to your destination, and be mindful of rushed drivers.

Avoid the urge to text while driving. That “Merry Christmas” greeting can wait until you’re no longer behind the wheel. Distracted driving is problematic year-round, but the added factors of the holiday amplify the issue.

Make sure you check the newest update on your smartphone. Most have an auto-respond setting which alerts those sending you texts that you will communicate once you’ve reached your location.

Stay safe during the holidays

Holiday parties often involve alcohol, and driving drunk – or hungover – is another factor that adds to the danger of the season. Whether it’s an extra glass of eggnog at Christmas dinner or a flute of champagne to toast the new year, don’t get behind the wheel if you’re at all impaired.

Have a designated driver, or use methods of transportation like Uber or Lyft. Driving under the influence of alcohol carries heavy consequences in the state of Florida, including fines, imprisonment, revocation of license and increased insurance rates. Worst of all, should you choose to get behind the wheel and injure or kill others, the knowledge that you have made a decision which will impact another family forever is a consequence from which you will never recover.

The holiday season is a special time of year, full of priceless moments with memorable people. Be careful on the roads and observe extra caution to keep this time of the year merry and bright.