We’ve already stuffed ourselves with turkey and pumpkin pie, pushed through the crowds for Black Friday deals and surfed the web for savings on Cyber Monday. Now we’re adorning our trees, putting up our Christmas lights or polishing our menorahs. However you celebrate, it’s safe to say we’re right in the middle of the holiday season! As always, millions of Americans are hitting the road to do just what all the songs and movies talk about — go home for the holidays!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but there are some things that aren’t so wonderful — like the fact that auto accidents increase by about 20% compared to the rest of the year. The holidays are a happy time, but an accident could turn that around in an instant. That’s why we are going to let you in on Steve Landers’ driving tips for staying safe this holiday season.
1. Winter Prep
If you haven’t done it already, it’s time to winterize your vehicle. Check your levels, check your tires, make sure your car is good to go before you embark on the long journey to see your in-laws! Trust us, taking it in for a quick check-up is worth not breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
2. Plan Ahead
It’s rarely a good idea to kick off a road trip without much foresight, but especially not during the holidays. Keep in mind that the weather could change significantly as you go, so check the radar! It can be helpful to come up with alternate routes along the way just in case you need to change course due to weather or traffic incidents.
3. Rest Up
When you’re prepping for the holidays and getting ready for a road trip, it’s easy to forget to rest. Sitting in a car might not seem all that strenuous, but driving tired is one of the worst things you can do. It affects your judgement and response time, just like alcohol does. So be sure to get plenty of rest before you head out.
4. Minimize Distractions
With icy roads, holiday traffic and an increase in drunk drivers, you really can’t afford to add any more risk factors to your road trip. That means no texting, no digging in your purse, no sightseeing and no phone calls unless it’s an emergency. If you have kids in the car, bring plenty of ways to keep them entertained so you won’t be distracted by screaming little ones your whole way there.
5. Keep Your Distance
Around the holidays, it’s more important than ever to keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. If the weather is good and clear on your drive, you should follow the 3-second rule. Just choose an object ahead of you and count how long it takes for you to pass it after the car in front of you does. If the weather’s bad, you should double that time.
6. Don’t Drink and Drive
This should go without saying, but too many people aren’t listening. The number of drunk drivers increases significantly over the holidays, with close to half of all fatal auto accidents being related to drinking and driving. If you choose to enjoy some eggnog or mimosas with the family, just don’t drive. Wait it out. It is not worth it! When you do drive, be defensive. You can’t control other people’s driving habits, but you can control yours.
If you follow these tips and use your common sense, you should be good to go home for the holidays! But even if you aren’t traveling far this year, these are good things to keep in mind. This time of year, you should be just as prepared for doing some last-minute shopping or heading to church on Sunday in your hometown.
If you have been in an accident and you need repairs, let us know! At Steve Landers Collision Center, we want to put you back on the road as quick as we can. With a team of factory-trained technicians, our crew can return your vehicle to manufacturer specifications while our front office will work with your insurance to make your process a breeze. Get in touch today stopping by the shop, calling us at (501) 703-0276, or filling out our online contact form. Experience the Steve Landers difference and get moving today!
Steve Landers Collision Center is proud to serve as the premier auto body shop for Little Rock and the surrounding areas, including Benton, Bryant, North Little Rock, Maumelle and the rest of the Little Rock metro.