During the Christmas season, more truckers are behind the wheel and have more distractions than normal. While Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July weekend have the highest number of fatal collisions each year, winter holiday traffic (and cold weather driving in general) has its own set of hazards.
Although the number of collisions on the actual day of the holidays normally decreases slightly, the days around the holiday witness an increase in crashes as more automobiles jam the roads. Beginning around Halloween, you’ll share the road with more cars, whether they’re on their way to meet family, to the mall, or to a holiday party, which means you’ll have to be on the lookout for extra driving risks.
Let’s take a look at some of the main holiday driving dangers.
As workplace and individual parties take place on a daily basis throughout the holiday season, the chance of a crash rises. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, two to three times as many people are killed in alcohol-related collisions as during the rest of the year, and an estimated 25,000 individuals are wounded in crashes caused by drinking and driving.
When you’re behind the wheel, distracted driving is always a worry, but the distractions may grow over the holiday season. In addition to calling or texting friends and family, drivers may be conducting internet searches for a gift item or seeking up directions to a business.
While distracted driving has become a more widespread issue in recent years, it is especially likely to pose difficulties for everyone on the road over the Christmas season.
Aside from the prospect of more individuals drinking and driving, sleepy drivers are in high demand throughout the Christmas season. Many drivers are overworked as activity levels rise. Then there are the hangovers from the Christmas parties, which add to the tiredness and produce slower reaction times.
Aside from the necessity to be alert of what other drivers are doing around you, the Christmas season has its own set of obstacles. Winter driving is made more dangerous by the possibility of ice and snow. According to the Federal Highway Administration of the United States Department of Transportation, approximately one-fourth of all weather-related automobile collisions occur on ice or snowy pavement. When snow or sleet falls, around 15% of collisions occur. Check our Winter Driving Tips.
Recognize that you may be tired or distracted at times and change your activities accordingly. Whether you know you’re too fatigued to drive safely, or you’re in an unknown location and having difficulty navigating your route, it’s worth your life to take the time to pull over and take necessary action.
If you’re sleepy, you could take a nap or go for a quick walk, or you might stop your automobile to gather the information you need to get to where you need to go.
Many driving dangers make the Christmas season more challenging, but with proper knowledge and resources, you can minimize them from turning fatal.