Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer: How to Stay Safe on the Road Over the Holidays

Image of a woman with festive socks for the holidays sticking her feet out of a car window, which isn't very safe.We’re ttttthhhhiiiissss close to the holidays and gearing up for heavy travel, most likely in less-than-ideal weather conditions. In addition, stress levels are high and you probably have a million to-do items running through your head at any given moment. These elements can add up to more accidents and injuries. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to enhance your safety on the road. Here are some tips from a personal injury lawyer, as well as a couple of our own:

1. Service your vehicle before you leave.

There’s still time to take your car in for maintenance or a tune-up. Have your tires checked and rotated, windshield wiper fluid filled, brakes checked, and ensure all of your lights, turn signals, and your car horn are functioning properly. You should also put chains in your trunk if you’re traveling someplace where it might snow and keep a perfectly-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle.

2. Plan your route & alternatives ahead of time.

Make sure you know where you’re going and don’t panic if you miss an exit. So many accidents occur because the driver realizes too late they wanted to turn or exit and they decide they can still make it. It’s always better to just keep going and take the next exit instead of attempting some kind of “Hail Mary.”

Furthermore, check out some alternative routes in case something goes wrong, like a 7-mile long backup, debris covering the road, or passes closed for dangerous weather conditions.

3. Give yourself extra time.

The best way to prevent irresponsible driving is to leave with plenty of time to get to your destination. You’re much less likely to speed, cut other drivers off, and enter a stressful state if you aren’t pressed for time.

4. Keep a clear view.

You may be traveling with a fair amount of cargo (presents!), but it’s important to make sure you can see out of all of your windows and mirrors at all times. If you must, ship some gifts ahead of time in order to reduce the height of your belongings in the backseat.

5. Always wear your seatbelt.

This seems like an easy one, but it can be tempting to forgo a seatbelt if you’re wearing an easily-wrinkled holiday outfit or attempting to sleep on a long drive. Resist the urge to be a little more comfortable and prioritize your safety first.

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