Dashing Through the Snow … Don’t Crash Your Sleigh
The holidays are here! While they should be a festive and relaxing time, the Christmas and New Year holidays often go hand in hand with dangerous driving conditions. While the numbers vary from year to year, an average of 343 people die in traffic deaths each year during the three-day Christmas holiday period. Even more — an average of 373 — die over the three-day New Year holiday, according to the National Safety Council.
USA Today estimated that approximately 95 million people are on the road between Thanksgiving and the New Year, of which nearly 28,000 are likely to suffer severe injuries in a car accident. 250 are expected to die from these matters.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your loved one this holiday season while you are out on the roads?
- Never Drive Impaired. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you are two to three times more likely to die in an alcohol-related crash during the holidays. Always have a designated driver available to you. After one drink in the beginning of the night, switch to water or soda. If you find yourself too impaired to drive, call an Uber or stay overnight.
- Never Drive Distracted. It is very common to have a million things to do and places to be over the holidays. You may feel like everyone is pulling you in different directions. When you are behind the wheel, put your phone away, all that can wait. Do not text or answer calls while driving. Keep your attention focused on the road.
- Drive Rested. Rest is a vital part of many holiday vacations. It is particularly important to sleep properly before hitting the road. Be sure to get a full night’s sleep before driving and try to avoid night driving as much as you can. If you feel like you are getting drowsy, develop a plan to stay awake. It could be taking a break, switching drivers, drinking coffee or turning up the Christmas music. No matter what your choice, ensure you remain fully alert when driving.
- Check Your Vehicle. Maintaining your vehicle and tires on a regular basis is key. Skidding, especially on wet and icy roads, is easily caused by worn tires. Make sure your brakes and all lights are in working order. Focusing on enjoying the holidays with friends and family is much easier with a properly maintained vehicle to get you to your destination safely.
- Watch for Weather. We all know that the holidays in Wisconsin can come with extreme winter conditions including snow, heavy rains, sleet and ice. Leave early and use extra precautions when driving in poor conditions. Decrease your speed, accelerate and decelerate slowly and keep your brake lights and turn signals as snow-free as possible.
- Be Prepared for Emergencies. Make sure you have a full-stocked vehicle emergency kit. In the unfortunate event that you break down or are in an accident, pull the car completely onto the shoulder or off the road, turn on your flashers (hazard lights) and set out safety triangles or flares to make the vehicle visible to other drivers.
All of us at Hupy and Abraham hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and that all your travels are safe and enjoyable. If for any reason you experience an accident due to the negligent actions of another driver, we are here to help. Contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678, or start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.