The holidays are here and though this is a time for celebration, many personal injury attorneys find that for many, it ends in tragedy due to a car accident.
Car accident lawyers note that this is also one of the more prevalent periods when accidents occur.
Last year, there were thousands of car accidents over the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years holidays that resulted in nearly 1200 fatalities.1
Auto accident attorneys recommend this year that if traveling to see family or friends over the holidays, keep these tips for safer passage in mind.
Plan Ahead for Holiday Travel
One of the biggest contributors to holiday car accidents according to many personal injury attorneys is poor planning that can result in stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
Rather than just hopping in the car and going, car accident lawyers recommend doing some forward planning to keep safe and have a trip that is enjoyable and not filled with the stress of trying to get there on time:
- Car Maintenance - If maintenance is due or there have been any issues, get it dealt with beforehand so your vehicle is safe for the trip. Fill the windshield washer fluid and make sure the wiper blades are in good condition, too.
- Check the Weather Forecast - Know before you go what kind of weather could be happening and prepare accordingly.
- Map Out the Route - If driving a long way or going somewhere new, map out your route ahead of time as well as an alternate route just in case.
- Leave Enough Time - Auto accident attorneys find that rushing is a prime cause of mistakes that lead to deadly car accidents, so leave plenty of time to get there even if there is traffic or unexpected delays.
Practice Safe and Defensive Driving
Safe travels that do not end with a call to a personal injury attorney start with safe driving, so keep these ideas in mind while traveling by car:
- Get Enough Rest - Whether going or coming back home, safe driving and good decisions require good rest. Do not drive when you haven't had enough sleep and stay sharp by stopping for breaks when needed.
- Avoid Distracted Driving - Distractions like texting, calling, eating, and other things that shift your eyes from the road are one of the main contributors in car accidents. If it is necessary to check maps as well as text or call someone along the way, pull over to do it.
- Avoid Speeding - Excessive speed increases the possibility of having an accident. Again, plan well and leave enough time to drive the speed limit as there is no need to rush.
- Drive Defensively - Others on the roads are likely dealing with the same holiday stress as you are. Stay alert and ready to react if necessary plus watch speed and traffic signs to get there safely.
Avoid Recklessness and Dangerous Driving
There is lots of celebrating happening over the holidays, so car accident lawyers stress the need to make good decisions and avoid recklessness that could end up causing a crash:
- Never Drive After Drinking - Auto accident attorneys advise that alcohol-related accidents and DWIs increase substantially over the holidays. Avoid being a statistic by never getting behind the wheel when intoxicated, just wait until it is safer to drive or use a shared ride service.
- Wait Out the Weather - Bad weather can throw a wrench in any travel plans; however, driving in bad weather is just not worth the risk, so whether trying to get somewhere or heading home, just wait it out.
- Be Driver Courteous and Don’t Speed - Speeding, swerving, dangerous passing, and other reckless behaviors are other common causes of accidents. Stay calm, courteous, and avoid them all.
Keep the Holidays Happy by Avoiding An Auto Accident
Every holiday season, personal injury attorneys start seeing more injury cases due to the substantial uptick in traffic accidents happening during this period.
Make sure you are not one of those statistics this year by planning ahead and heeding these tips from the accident lawyers who see the aftermath.
Good pre-planning, safe driving practices, and the avoidance of dangerous behaviors will ensure a happy holiday from start to finish and no need to make that call to an auto accident attorney!
Hildebrand & Wilson, Attorneys at Law
7930 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
1U.S. Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts Research Note: Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Fatalities for the Holiday Periods of 2019, October 2019