The holiday season begins on Thanksgiving weekend. Some people stay close to home while others travel far distances to celebrate with family and friends. It’s an enjoyable couple of months for many, but careless drivers and congested roadways endanger lives.
Holiday travel creates dangerous conditions. Navigating your way around more vehicles and inattentive drivers is challenging. You can end up in an accident despite the precautions you take.
Common Reasons for Car Accidents During the Holidays
According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, injuries spiked around Thanksgiving last year. There were 696 injuries in car accidents, the highest number of all major holidays.
An increased number of traffic accidents during the holiday season are due to factors such as:
- Speeding – Drivers speed regardless of whether it’s a holiday. However, busy schedules might cause more people to exceed the speed limit while running errands and preparing for the festivities.
- More traffic – More people are on the road around the holidays. Whether the destination is down the street or in another state, more vehicles increase the risk of a collision.
- Fatigued driving – People are often exhausted by the time Thanksgiving comes. Planning for holiday events, traveling, and a lack of sleep lead to fatigued driving.
- Group travel – Driving can be more economical than flying. However, taking multiple cars increases the likelihood of careless behavior, such as weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, and tailgating to stay with the group.
- Poor weather conditions – Although most people consider snow the most dangerous weather, other conditions can cause hazards on roadways. Heavy rain creates visibility issues, and strong winds can prevent drivers from controlling their cars.
- Driving under the influence – Alcohol-related accidents can happen any day of the year. However, they’re more prevalent during the holiday season. Driving with alcohol or drugs in the system impairs a person’s normal faculties.
- Unfamiliar locations – Traveling to visit family or friends is common around the holidays. Many don’t know the area where their friends or family live. Out-of-town drivers can become distracted while navigating unfamiliar roads.
- Holiday breaks – Teenagers are out of school during the holidays. That means more inexperienced drivers share the road with others.
How to Stay Safe While Traveling During the Holidays
Adequate preparation is vital as the holiday season approaches. You should establish a plan to keep yourself and others safe, whether traveling out of town or staying close to home.
Follow these tips if you’re driving anywhere during the holidays:
- Take frequent breaks – You might want to avoid breaks so you can arrive at your destination quicker. However, taking breaks is necessary during long drives. You can map out your route and pick locations, such as restaurants or motels, where you can stop to rest.
- Ask for a ride – Find a designated driver if you know you’re going to drink at the company holiday party or Thanksgiving dinner. You can also plan to request an Uber or Lyft at the end of the night if a friend or relative can’t pick you up.
- Leave early –Although it might not take long to get to specific places on other days of the year, increased traffic can slow you down during the holidays. Roadways are more congested. You should give yourself plenty of time to drive to your destination, so you’re less likely to speed.
- Don’t drive at night – Nighttime driving is risky. You can encounter drunk drivers or experience fatigue that can prevent you from driving safely. Try to avoid driving at night if possible.
The Experienced Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers at Anchor Legal Group, PLLC Fight Back Against Negligent Drivers
Anchor Legal Group, PLLC represents injured clients in Virginia Beach, VA. Our Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers provide compassionate and professional legal services to people harmed by the wrongdoings of others. You will have a dedicated team in your corner to fight for the justice you deserve.