The past five years have seen an average of 300 people die in drunk-driving crashes during the Christmas through New Year’s holiday period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With all the parties going on as well as the rush to complete holiday shopping, the roadways are even more jam packed than usual. Add alcohol, distraction, fatigue and road rage into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.
Kuzyk Law wants you to be safe on the roadways this holiday season. We see first hand the devastating results of the dangers of alcohol and distracted driving, with drunk driving cases making up a bulk of our car accident personal injury law practice. If you have suffered grave injury as a result of an auto accident in the LA area, call us today for your free, no-obligation consultation at 661-945-6969.
Meanwhile, heed these holiday season safety tips.
1. Plan Ahead
Before embarking on a trip to see the in-laws or even downtown to attend the company holiday party, make sure your car is ready for the rigors of the season. There will be a record amount of drivers on the roadways this December, so plan ahead and make sure your car has been serviced and maintained. Make sure your oil is topped off as well as your windshield wiper fluid. Check the tires and brakes. Check the forecast before heading out.Leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Especially with the end of daylight savings time, the chances you’ll be driving in the dark will increase,which could impair your ability to see road hazards and pedestrians.
2. Stay Alert
Get plenty of sleep each night. That means seven to eight hours a night for adults. Being well-rested is especially vital before heading out on a long road trip. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says every year, 100,000 crashes involve drowsy driving.
Driving while drowsy is similar to the effects of driving under influence of alcohol. Reaction time, ability to sustain attention and awareness of hazards on the roadway can all worsen driving conditions for the driver. Driving after going more than 20 hours without sleep is like getting behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08%, which is the U.S. legal limit. Also, did you know you are three times more likely to be in a car crash if you are tired? Plan your trip with other drivers so you can all take turns sharing the responsibility.
3. Keep Your Speed Under Control
Give yourself plenty of time when heading out for holiday shopping or parties, or just commuting to and from work. Be mindful of the distance between yourself and the car in front of you so you can have plenty of time to react to traffic stops. According to an Automotive Fleet Magazine article, for every one percent increase in speed, your chance of an accident increases by two percent,a serious injury by three percent, and a fatality by four percent.
4. Practice Defensive Driving
Increased holiday traffic can put the safety of everyone in your car at risk. Keep your anger in check and remain calm at all times. Let impatient and aggressive drivers pass you so you remain in control of the situation. Always be on the lookout for distracted drivers, even when you have the green light or the right of way. You never know who has just imbibed that third drink at their office Christmas party.
5. Don’t Drive Drunk
Seems like an obvious tip, but worth mentioning. We all want to enjoy the holiday parties and festivities. But if you are planning to drink, simply take an Uber or choose a designated driver.
6. Avoid Distractions
Distracted driving — any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting eating and drinking, or messing with the stereo – is anything that takes your attention away from the road. Texting is the most common distraction. Sending or reading a text causes you to take your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. If you’re going 55 mph, that’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. Give driving your full attention! That text can always wait.
Contact Kuzyk Law
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a drunk driving or distracted driving accident, whether around the holidays or not, please contact us for a free,no-obligation consultation at 661-945-6969. We wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for reading our Christmas holiday safety tips!