17_holiday-driving-tips-and-statistics

As you get ready to travel this holiday season, keep in mind that millions of people will be on the roads along with you. Statistics show that car accidents and accident-related injuries are far more likely to occur during this time of year. Whether you plan to visit family or go shopping, take extra precaution when traveling the roads with these safety tips.

1. Winterize your car to keep it in good operating condition for the season. Take your vehicle to an auto repair shop before you hit the road. Get an inspection, some new tires, and any necessary repairs. Top off all of your car’s fluids and keep an emergency roadside kit in your trunk at all times. The kit should contain flares, water, blankets, a spare cell phone, and jumper cables.

2. Do not put yourself or anyone else at risk for injury by rushing to get to your destination. Winter driving conditions are not very favorable for drivers, so check the weather before you leave. If you must be somewhere at a certain time, plan your trip out in advance and leave a little earlier.

3. Don’t speed. Did you know that 24 percent of holiday accidents are due to snowy and icy roads? The faster you drive, the longer it takes for your vehicle to stop. When either snow or ice are on the roads, your vehicle’s stopping ability may be slightly impaired, so drive slower and more cautiously.

4. Wear a seat belt. You can’t control the actions of other drivers, but you can minimize your risk of injury by making sure everyone in your vehicle wears a seat belt at all times.

5. Don’t drive while distracted. According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), over 90 percent of driving accidents are due to driver error. To avoid being a statistic, keep your attention on the road and the vehicles around you at all times. Don’t pick up the phone to text or call someone even if you are at a stoplight. If you must use your phone, pull over safely to the side of the road or into a parking lot.

6. Always park in an area that is well lit. This makes it easier for you to see everything around you and minimizes your risk of accidents.

7. When getting ready to drive, remove as much snow and ice from your vehicle as you can. Your car’s lights, windshield, windows, brake lights, and roof should all be cleaned off.

The holidays are a great time for you to travel, shop, and spend time with your loved ones. They are also a time when the risks of car accidents and injuries are at their highest. Drive safely and cautiously so you can have an accident-free and joyous season.

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