Driving Safely on the Busiest Travel Days of the Year
The holidays will be upon us before we know it. Many Americans will travel by car to enjoy time spent with family and friends. It is important to keep your safety in consideration and ensure that you arrive to your destination safely.
Busiest Travel Days
The worst traveling times for motor vehicles in the United States are:
- Before and after Christmas
- New Year’s Day
- 4th of July
- Labor Day
As a general rule, holiday drivers in major metros can expect easier drives in the early morning or right after the morning rush hour.
The busiest times on the roads are clearly during both rush hours, as well as early afternoon, as many Americans leave work early to get a head start on the travel.
Tips to Keep You Safe
The below tips are important for all travel. However, when the roads are crowded and you will be traveling for long distances, they are especially important.
Plan your route in advance
Before hitting the road, plan your route and at least one detour route around busy roads and heavy traffic. This will help alleviate the risk of you focusing on your GPS or map while driving. Further, even if you do not believe you will need it, keep your GPS system or app updated. This will be important if you are forced to find an alternative route.
Allow for extra travel time
The heavy traffic and potentially bad weather that often comes along with holiday travel can increase your travel time, sometimes significantly. Build a cushion into your schedule. By doing so, you will not be tempted to speed and will be more likely to maintain safe driving habits.
Plan for your pit stops
This is especially important if you are traveling more than two hours at a time, and the reasoning is two-fold. First, you never want to run the risk of running out of gas. Plan ahead on when and where it would be best to stop and fill up your tank.
Second, to avoid drowsiness, you should stop every few hours to wake yourself up. Get out and stretch your legs, get a snack, and wake yourself up.
Maintain the health of your vehicle
Maintaining a tuned and healthy vehicle is a key to travel safety. Have your brakes and tires checked on a regular basis, keep the fluids filled, and keep the gas tank filled.
Limit your distractions
When your focus is dedicated to the road in front of you, you are better suited to spot potential hazards and remain safe. Avoid distractions such as your cellphone, adjusting the radio, eating, applying makeup, etc. If you are driving with passengers, it is a good practice to remind them to keep the volume to a reasonable limit.
You should also dress for comfort in the car. Pay particular attention to the shoes that you will be wearing while driving.
Avoid relying on cruise control
Cruise control can make a long trip more bearable. However, a lack of driver involvement may lead to laziness and a loss of concentration. If you have cruise control, use it for short periods only.
Avoid aggressive driving
It is important to always practice safe driving techniques, as it limits the risk of accidents. However, it is exceptionally important when the roads are busy with other holiday travelers.
To avoid aggressive driving, make sure that you:
- Focus on the road
- Follow the speed limit
- Yield when possible
- Avoid weaving in and out of lanes
- Use turn signals
- Maintain a three-second following distance behind other vehicles.
It is also essential to stay calm with other drivers on the road who may not be practicing safe driving habits.
Pull over to rest
Drowsy driving is one of the top causes of car accidents. If you begin to feel drowsy or lethargic while driving, it is important to pull off the road until it passes and you feel refreshed to drive. Fresh air is a must.
If an Accident Occurs
No matter how far you are from home, if you are in an accident, the procedures to follow are the same:
- Get yourself to safety;
- Address any medical needs;
- Call the police;
- Talk with any witnesses and gather their contact information.
It is also important to speak with an attorney to help navigate you through the convoluted insurance process.
Contact Us Today
If you are involved in a car accident, contact the Yearin Law Office today. We will work closely with you to ensure that you have a strong understanding of your rights under the law. Call Yearin Law Office today at (480) 502-0708 to schedule your free consultation.