While the holidays may be a joyous time of year for many people, the roadways tell a different story. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, millions of people throughout the country take to the roads to party, shop and visit friends and family. This leads to traffic, accidents, serious injuries and even death.
Alcohol consumption rises during the holidays and this leads to fatal accidents. During the Christmas season, for example, there is an average of 45 fatalities caused by drunk driving each day. The deadliest day of the year is Thanksgiving, when hundreds of people are killed in car accidents. More than half of these crashes are caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
While we can’t avoid driving during the holidays, we can take appropriate steps to stay safe. If you’re traveling in South Florida this holiday seasons, here are some ways to help keep you and your family safe on the road.
Car Accident Prevention Tips for Miami Residents
While Miami residents don’t have to worry about driving in the snow and cold, there are plenty of other hazards on the road such as 18 wheelers, busy shoppers, distracted drivers, pedestrians who are eager to get where they’re going and more. Consider the following safety tips to help you arrive safely to your holiday destinations.
- Maintain your vehicle. Does your car need new tires, brake repair or wiper blades? Take care of these tasks before hitting the road. Your car will drive better and you won’t have to waste any time broken down on a dangerous roadside, waiting for AAA or a tow truck to arrive with crying kids in the car.
- Plan your route. The road is not the place to fiddle around with Google maps, so know where you are going before you get in the car. Set up your navigation system on your phone or car before you depart, so you can focus as much as possible on driving and maintain good awareness of your surroundings at all times.
- Leave early. Traffic, constructions and, heaven forbid, accidents will no doubt cause delays. If you need to be somewhere at a certain time, prepare to leave a few minutes earlier to give yourself plenty of time. This is especially true if you have young children, who may require frequent snacks and potty breaks. If the roadways are wet, extend your following distance, lower your speeds and be on the lookout for unexpected lane changes from cars and trucks around you who may be having a hard time seeing the lines.
- Keep the kids entertained. Kids can be distracting to drivers, especially after you’ve heard “Are we there yet?” for the hundredth time. Keep them entertained with snacks, DVDs, games, books and electronic devices so they’ll be less inclined to distract or frustrate you.
- Take frequent breaks. Long drives can become monotonous for those behind the wheel and can lead to fatigue after a while. After every two hours or so, take a break. A snack, drink of water and a quick stretch and walk will rejuvenate you and prevent fatigue. A caffeinated beverage can also help combat fatigue on longer drives.
- Avoid texting and driving. This can never be overstated enough. Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents today, with one in four wrecks resulting from texting and driving. Don’t do it.
Stay Safe During the Holidays
With so many people on the roadways during the holidays, accidents are much more common. They can still occur even if you do your best to stay safe. No one can control another’s actions on the road, which is why it’s so important to be aware of your surroundings at all times and on the lookout for potential hazards.
In the event you are involved in a car accident this holiday season, seek legal help as soon as possible. Contact our Miami car accident lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP at 305-371-2692.