Wednesday, December 01, 2021

People wait for it every year — the air becomes a little cooler, and communities come to life in twinkling lights and festive décor. As exciting as the holidays are, they can also be the most dangerous time for driving. Driving conditions can change in seconds because of inclement weather, debris, blocked intersections, and overcrowded roads.

Drunk driving is not the only danger on the roads during the holidays. Aggressive driving, excessive speeding, and reckless driving can all result in severe consequences. Without warning, the happiest time of the year can quickly turn into a nightmare as people hurry to their holiday events, but some steps can be taken to reduce risks behind the wheel and stay safe on the roads this holiday season.

Holiday driving is particularly dangerous because of the increase in accidents and fatalities. There is so much to do in so little time, which leads to increased stress and less patience. The pandemic compounds the problem; stress levels are at an all-time high, and more people are likely to hit the roads this year rather than flying.

The holidays also tempt many people to have a spiked cider or eggnog before they head out on the roads. The season brings plenty of celebration and merriment, but it also means more impaired drivers on the road.

Accidents can happen at any time for any reason, but there are some dangers specific to the holiday season that threatens everyone’s safety during the happiest time of the year.

  • Drunk driving is responsible for its fair share of holiday accidents and fatalities each year. Although there may be fewer in-person holiday events this year, even small gatherings can tempt a typically careful driver to get behind the wheel while impaired.
  • Inclement weather can increase risk during the winter season. Snow, black ice, high winds, and hail can all make the holidays a challenging time to be on the road. As people travel during the holidays, many drivers face hazardous conditions.
  • Fatigued and stressed driving is especially prevalent during the holidays. People might travel further than normal, feel more pressed for time and, this year, in particular, tensions may run higher due to dealing with COVID-19.

As the holidays creep closer and closer, don’t take unnecessary risks with drunk driving or mobile phones, and keep in mind that arriving late is better than not arriving at all. Remember Santa is checking his list for naughty drivers!