The holidays are busy for many Californians. There are gifts to buy, parties to attend, family to visit, and school or religious performances to see. Unfortunately, while we are getting all these things done, we could be putting ourselves and others in danger because the holidays are a particularly dangerous time to be on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average number of fatal car accidents increases during holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. To avoid an accident in the coming weeks, be sure you do not drive under the following four conditions:
- When you are drunk – Drunk driving is illegal and dangerous. Intoxicated drivers can be unpredictable and reckless; they have slowed reflexes; they may not make safe decisions. If you have been drinking, find an alternative way to get around.
- When you are tired – This time of year, people might stay up late and wake up early. Some may have trouble sleeping if they are excited or anxious. Under these circumstances, a person could be tired or sleep-deprived while driving, which can be almost as dangerous as drunk driving. If you feel too tired to drive safely, you might delay your trip so you can get some sleep. If you are already driving and start to get drowsy, pull over and rest.
- When you are stressed out or upset – The holidays are stressful. Not only is there a lot to do, but emotions can also be running high. People might get in fights at a family function or argue with a spouse about spending, which can make them upset. A driver who is angry or frustrated may take it out on those around them by speeding, following others too closely and making aggressive moves that could cause an accident. As such, it is best not to drive in highly emotional states.
- When you cannot focus – Distracted driving is a very troubling issue across California. Drivers get distracted by their phones, eating, grooming, or trying to navigate while behind the wheel. An inattentive driver can cause a crash in the blink of an eye, so it is crucial to stay alert and focused while driving.
Drivers who refrain from driving under these conditions can prevent and avoid a serious car accident this holiday season.