With Thanksgiving behind us, we’re officially into the holiday season. Throughout the country, people and businesses are furiously finalizing plans for parties filled with food and drink that will make your days “merry and bright.” Unfortunately, with all of this merry-making, it can be tricky to celebrate the winter holidays safely. Today, we wanted to share our top four ways to stay safe on the road this holiday season.
1. Don’t Drink and Drive!
It’s an unfortunate truth that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the number of DUI citations and alcohol-related driving fatalities goes way up. Therefore, if alcoholic beverages are part of your holiday season, make sure that you plan ahead so that you aren’t tempted to drink and drive. Each state has their own rules and regulations regarding blood alcohol levels, so you should begin by knowing your state’s DWI and DUI laws. Below are some simple ways to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Know how many drinks you can have before your blood alcohol content goes above the legal limit.
- Understand how quickly drinking impairs your judgement — ask your friends and family to help you with this.
- If you plan to drive, drink very limited amounts of alcohol and stop drinking at least an hour or two before you will be driving.
- Use a designated driver (DD) or a driving service — e.g. Uber, Lyft, local taxi services, etc. — to get to and from the festivities.
2. Get Your Car Ready for Safe Winter Travel
A safe car is critical to staying safe on the road during the holidays. Make sure that your tires have adequate tread and are in good condition. You should also consider installing snow tires or keeping a set of snow chains in your car for snowy weather. Another safety precaution is to keep your car stocked with emergency supplies and safety equipment like an ice scraper, a small shovel, and sand or salt.
3. Take Special Consideration When Driving in Bad Winter Road Conditions
When road conditions are bad enough, anyone can have difficulty driving. Icy, slippery roads and low visibility are two of the biggest problems drivers encounter during winter driving. In order to drive safely in these conditions, you should take a few simple precautions.
- Clean ice and snow off of all windows and outside mirrors
- Slow down and increase your following distance
- Don’t turn or apply your brakes sharply
- Look for signs of how bad the road is — for example, wet-looking pavement that doesn’t produce spray behind vehicles may actually be covered in black ice
4. Know What to Do After a Minor Traffic Accident
Unfortunately, no matter how many precautions you take, you may still find yourself in a minor traffic accident this holiday season. Knowing what to do after the accident can help make your life easier. Below are some of the key steps you should take after a winter traffic accident.
- Turn on your emergency/hazard lights.
- Check vehicle occupants for injuries.
- Determine if driving conditions are bad enough to necessitate distancing yourself from traffic and/or the involved vehicles.
- Contact appropriate emergency services including police, ambulances, or tow trucks.
- Exchange driver names, telephone numbers, addresses, and insurance information.
- Get names and contact information for any possible witnesses.
- Take photos of the scene using your cell phone camera.
- DO NOT discuss the cause of the accident, start arguments, or admit to liability with anybody at the scene of the accident.
Of course, traffic accidents often result in traffic tickets. If this happens to you, you may want to employ the services of a traffic citation lawyer. In Springfield, MO and surrounding areas, the DWI lawyers at Springfield Traffic Tickets may be able to help you.
We hope that your holiday season is filled with family, friends, and fun. That’s why we want you to remember to stay safe out there on the road!