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Stay Safe On The Road This Holiday Season

People travel more during the holidays. Some travel to visit their relatives, some are escaping the cold weather in northern states, and some just want to enjoy the vacation they get at the end of the year. Whatever the reasoning is, holiday travel puts a lot of extra vehicles on the road and leads to a higher rate of traffic accidents and injuries. No one wants their vacation cut short by a road collision, so do your part to keep the roads safe and follow these tips.

Check The Traffic Reports

Checking traffic levels is much easier today than it ever was before. The map apps that come on smartphones can provide live traffic updates, and they can automatically suggest alternate routes that will take you around traffic jams and slowdowns. Many cars also come with traffic updates for their on-board navigation systems. During the holiday season you may want to use these apps to avoid traffic even if the alternate routes would be slower, because you’re more likely to experience an accident when a lot of cars are packed together than when you’re traveling along a back road.

Drive Sober

Celebrations often come with parties and alcohol, and that can be a fun way to pass the evening. However, driving while drunk is both dangerous and stressful, both to you and to everyone who shares the road with you. In Florida, the legal limit is .08 BAC, and in many other states it’s as low as .05. Keep yourself and everyone else safe by taking a taxi, ride share, or public transport if you have more than one or two drinks. If you stay sober, consider heading out a little sooner so you can avoid encountering drunk drivers.

Stay Sane

Holidays can be a stressful time thanks to the rush of customers in shops, family members you’d rather not see, busy roads, and other issues that only seem to come up at the end of the year. Driving while stressed out can cause you to make bad decisions in the heat of the moment or ignore signs of danger, so be sure to include some stress relief among your holiday activities. Meditation, phone games, hobbies, and all kinds of other options can be healthy ways of handling stress, and they’ll help you stay focused and calm on the road.

Remember Your Defensive Driving Lessons

The idea behind defensive driving is that it’s always best to be cautious on the road. Other drivers might cut you off, run lights, or make sudden turns without signaling, and defensive driving is a way to protect yourself from these reckless drivers. Defensive driving involves things like waiting for two lanes to be clear of traffic before turning into a new road, checking an intersection even when the other directions have red lights, and letting aggressive drivers go ahead even if you have the right of way.

Avoid Driving

The best way to avoid getting into road collisions is to stay off the road in the first place. To some extent driving may be unavoidable, but you should consider all the side trips and errands you may have to run during the holiday season and think about whether each one is necessary or whether it could wait. Taking fewer and more efficient trips is a good way to avoid the risks of the road, plus it lets you save time and gas money.

If you do end up in a traffic accident, then you should consider calling a personal injury lawyer to represent your interests when you file an insurance claim. A good lawyer can help you increase the settlement amount and get through the claims process with as little hassle as possible. In southwestern Florida, you can rely on the All Injuries Law Firm to keep your interests in mind from beginning to end.