Top Holiday Driving Hazards

holiday driving in snowy conditions

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. Unfortunately, they are also a time when motor vehicle accidents can skyrocket. Many of us find ourselves driving longer distances more frequently, whether it is a road trip to see family or daily stops at the mall for last-minute gifts.  More time spent on the road combined with certain holiday driving hazards can result in an increased chance for a collision. We have put together a list of the top holiday driving hazards and how you can best avoid them to enjoy a safe, happy holiday season. 

Most Common Traffic Accidents During the Holidays

Hazard #1: Alcohol Consumption

It’s tempting to have that celebratory glass of eggnog or champagne while you’re out at holiday parties—but did you know that alcohol is a major factor in traffic fatalities during the holidays? New Year’s Eve, in particular, has been dubbed the “deadliest night of the year” for drunk driving incidents. 

Even just one drink can be enough to affect your coordination and judgment, resulting in an accident. If you’re going to be drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or plan to take advantage of rideshare apps like Uber or Lyft. Everyone deserves a safe ride home for the holidays.

Hazard #2: Distractions 

From talking and texting on our phones to bickering with kids in the backseat, there are more distractions than ever when we’re behind the wheel. And during the holidays, those distractions only increase in the form of busy parking lots, reckless winter driving, inclement weather, dazzling lights, and more. 

Minimize the distractions you can control. Put your phone away while driving and remind passengers that you need to concentrate on the road. Make sure your vision is unobstructed by ice, snow, or other issues. If you want to drive to see Christmas lights and decor, do so at a safe pace through a neighborhood where the snow and ice have been plowed. Keep your eyes on the road and have someone else take photographs. 

Hazard #3: Fatigue 

The holidays often bring added stress. From traveling to shopping to office parties, it is no wonder we are exhausted by the time Christmas Day finally arrives.But unfortunately, being tired behind the wheel can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

If you are going to be driving long distances or during late hours, make sure you are well-rested before getting behind the wheel. If you start feeling sleepy, pull over at the next rest stop and take a nap before continuing on your way. Your safety—and the safety of everyone else on the road—is worth it.

Hazard #4: Ice and Snow

In Colorado and other parts of the country where winter is synonymous with snow, driving conditions can quickly become deadly. Black ice, in particular, can have devastating consequences and has been responsible for a shocking number of pile-up accidents in the past. 

If you see snow at all on the road, take it slow. No matter how experienced you feel you may be, you cannot control how your vehicle will respond under unpredictable weather circumstances. Check the weather forecast often so you can give yourself ample time if you need to venture out into the snow. If blizzard conditions are in effect, avoid the road all together. Make sure to properly winterize your vehicle to avoid preventable accidents related to balding tires or failing brakes. 

Colorado Accident Attorney

While knowing the common causes of accidents can help you avoid being in a collision, sometimes it is simply out of your control. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to legal compensation.

Dave Roth with the Roth Group is a skilled personal injury and insurance claims attorney. He can help you file your claim to ensure a speedy and fair settlement. If necessary, he can also help you seek additional damages to help pay for vehicle repairs, medical bills, and more. Contact our office or go online today to schedule a free consultation. And from all of us at the Roth Group, have a very safe and Happy Holidays.