As we are now in the midst of the holiday season, and with it the increased traveling, it’s a good time to think about some basic safety tips to make sure the holiday season remains one of joy and celebration.
Traffic accidents during the holidays are higher than other times during the year for a variety of reasons: an increased amount of traffic on the roads; parties that involve alcohol consumption; winter driving conditions; and night time driving conditions. Crash statistics from 2008 show that during December that year, 6,300 crashes were reported. During just Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 128 crashes were reported in Oklahoma, resulting in 2 fatalities and 222 injuries. On New Years Eve and Day, 266 people sustained injuries from traffic accidents.
So, if you are going to be travelling this holiday season, make sure that you and your loved ones don’t have the unfortunate experience of suffering a traffic accident by keeping in mind the following safe travel suggestions:
- Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before you hit the road
- Stock your car with the appropriate winter driving supplies—jumper cables, shovel, ice scraper, extra wiper fluid and antifreeze
- For long trips, keep an emergency kit with water, nonperishable foods, a first aid kit, and blankets in your car in case you get stuck
- Pay close attention weather forecasts and adjust your trip and route as necessary to avoid unsafe driving conditions
- In winter weather conditions, drive slowly, increase your distance from other vehicles, and minimize the use of brakes.
- Be alert to drunk or impaired drivers on the road and maintain a larger than normal driving distance from their car; report them to local authorities
- Do not drive your car while impaired by alcohol; use a designated driver
- Avoid driving when fatigued; make sure you get plenty of rest and rotate drivers