The holiday season is just around the corner, which means most people are busy making plans for vacations and get-togethers with friends and family members. It’s an exciting time that provides everyone with an opportunity to relax and enjoy a little time off from the hectic pace of everyday life.
All of these gatherings and getaways means more vehicles on the road, which unfortunately also means a significant increase in car accidents. In fact, the holiday season is regularly described as the most dangerous time of the year to drive.
As New Jersey auto accident lawyers, we see a rise in traffic accidents as the winter season approaches. Sadly, most of these accidents are entirely preventable. We want everyone to stay as safe as possible over the holidays, which is why we have put together a list of seven ways you can stay safer on the roads as you celebrate the season.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing your seat belt is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe behind the wheel.
If you have young children, you should also always use an appropriate car seat or restraint system for child passengers. Statistics show that car seats reduce a child’s risk of being involved in a fatal accident by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
Plan Your Route
If you know where you’re going and how to get there, you are much less likely to succumb to driver distractions, such as your phone or the GPS system in your vehicle. Smartphone use accounts for 12 percent of all distracted driving accidents, and being “lost in thought” or occupied by something other than the drive is responsible for 62 percent of distraction-related crashes. Know before you go, and you will be less tempted to rely on technology to help you get there.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Alcohol and driving never mix. Unfortunately, it can be tough to avoid alcohol during the holidays, as it features prominently in many seasonal celebrations. Alcohol-related crashes also spike during the holidays, with the day before Thanksgiving being one of the deadliest days to drive during the entire year.
Be a Considerate Host
If you’re hosting a holiday party or event, help your guests out by offering alternatives to alcohol. Remove temptation by including sparkling grape juice or a hot cocoa bar as an alcohol-free choice for those who are driving.
Check the Weather Before You Go
New Jersey residents are no strangers to hazardous road conditions. In a state that sees its fair share of snow, driving in the winter can make anyone feel like they’re starring in an episode of Ice Road Truckers. Stay safe out there by checking the weather reports before you leave. If the forecast is calling for heavy snow or ice, it may be better to postpone your plans if possible.
Don’t Drive Drowsy
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that about 83,000 vehicle crashes between 2005 and 2009 were caused by drowsy driving.
If the holidays leave you yawning due to late nights at parties and family dinners, hand the keys to someone else if you’re too tired to drive. If you’re alone, find a safe place to stop until you are safe to drive again.
Keep an Emergency Road Kit Handy
The weather can be unpredictable during the winter months, and emergency workers are often bombarded with calls during extreme storms. In some cases, it might take them hours to respond to a call from a stranded motorist.
By having a few essential items in your vehicle, you can stay safe until help arrives. Consider stocking your emergency road kit with flares, bottled water, protein bars or nonperishable foods, a first-aid kit, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
Injured in an Auto Accident? Consult with Auto Accident At New Jersey Today
If you have been hurt in an auto accident due to another person’s negligence, call the New Jersey auto accident lawyers at Rosner Law Offices, P.C. today. Our lawyers are available now to speak to you. Call 800-230-4750.