Everyone knows the Holiday season is an exciting time. Friends and family gather together, sometimes for the first time all year, and spend quality time huddled around the fireplace. Children’s eyes glow with excitement as they excitedly await Santa’s arrival and the presents he’s sure to bring. Holiday movies, television specials and music flood your surroundings. Decorations are hung, Christmas trees and Menorahs lit, boundless Holiday food and drinks surround you. During such an exciting time of the year, sometimes safety isn’t always top priority.
Of course driving distracted, when you are very tired or under the influence of alcohol is always dangerous- but when you throw in factors like ice and snow, low visibility on the road, and the stressors of traveling during the holiday season, December may be the most hazardous month to be on the road.
Stay safe this season by avoiding these dangerous Holiday driving habits:
1. Distracted Driving: Distracted driving includes: breaking up fights between children in the back seat, eating and drinking, sending phone calls and holiday messages to family and friends via text, email and social media, interacting with your in-dash navigation, changing pandora stations-anything that takes your eyes away from the road, even for a second. Remember that road conditions and traffic make the Holidays an even more dangerous time to drive distracted. #ItCanWait
2. Driving under the Influence: Since most Holiday parties involve lots of champagne and eggnog, more impaired drivers may be on the road than usual in the coming weeks. Law enforcement in most states recognize an increase in DUI’s during the Holiday season, which could cause serious injury or death to all parties involved. Want to avoid all these dangers and still enjoy yourself? Ask a friend to be your designated driver or call a cab to get home safely.
3. Stressed out Driving: Although the Holiday season is a fun, exciting time there are definitely increased pressures like financial strain, as well as the stress of traveling to multiple locations in a short period of time, last minute shopping and more. Often drivers react to these stressors by driving too fast on crowded, icy roads, dangerous lane changes, failing to yield when necessary and generally disregarding the needs and safety of other drivers on the road. Remember that it’s always more important to arrive safe than on time.
4. Tired, Fatigued Driving: Often the increased demands on people’s time with extra holiday activities mean seriously reduced sleep schedules. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who slept 6-7 hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a traffic accident as those who are able to sleep 8 hours or more, while people getting less than 5 hours of sleep increase their risk of a collision four to five times.
Happy Holidays from the FleetMode team! We love the Holiday season, and can’t wait to get the festivities started. In the coming weeks, take this list and check it twice- and stay safe out there on the road.