The holidays are just around the corner. For most of us, holiday parties, shopping and travel plans will keep us busy through the end of the year –and force us to be on the road quite a lot.
Whether you are traveling to a holiday party across town, headed to the nearest shopping plaza or taking extended trips to visit loved ones, it will be important to take extra precautions when you are driving.
Unfortunately, an increase in the number of drivers on the road during the holiday season can lead to an increased risk of getting into a dangerous car accident. The holidays also tend to see a spike in alcohol-related crashes.
Taking a few extra precautions can ensure the safety of both you and your loved ones this holiday season.
Holiday Road Travel and Safety Tips
From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, one in four Americans take trips to see friends and family who live more than 50 miles away, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). The result is heavy increases in traffic along highways and interstates.
However, even local traffic can become congested and difficult to navigate – especially near shopping centers.
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 700 people died in the U.S. in the month of December during one recent year as the result of auto accidents. Drunk driving crashes, in particular, claim one victim every two and a half hours, the NTHSA estimates.
The NHTSA warns people traveling both across town and across the country to be aware of potential dangers and urges motorists to follow these safety tips for holiday driving:
- Make sure every passenger in your vehicle has their seat belt buckled and that small children ride in approved child safety seats.
- Avoid distracted driving and do not text, talk on your cell phone or fumble with the car stereo or GPS behind the wheel.
- Avoid driving while drowsy.
- Follow “move over” laws which require motorists to change lanes for public safety or law enforcement vehicles parked on the side of the road.
- Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating and improper passing.
- Refrain from drinking and driving. Make plans to take a cab or bus if you plan to drink or choose a designated driver for the evening in order to get home safely.
South Carolina SANTA Program
Particularly throughout the holidays, people who do not normally drink and drive can find themselves in situations where they have had a few drinks and are tempted to get behind the wheel.
Law enforcement plans aggressive campaigns against drunk drivers at this time of the year. Drivers can expect to see DUI checkpoints throughout the area, according to the SCDPS.
To help combat the problem of drunk driving, the SCDPS has launched a campaign called SANTA, or the “Sober All Night Totally Awesome” designated driver campaign.
The campaign runs through January 1 and aims to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. The goal is also to encourage people to give the gift of being a designated driver for friends and loved ones.
Unfortunately, even the safest drivers can end up being the victim of someone’s reckless or negligent conduct. If you have been injured in a car or truck accident in Florence or elsewhere in South Carolina, get the legal help you need and contact Jebaily Law Firm.