There is no doubt that Christmas is a time of great joy, but it can be a time of great peril as well. With more people on the road than during many other times of the year, it is a prime holiday season for car accidents. In order to make it safely through to New Year’s and prevent roadway injuries, follow a few basic Christmas driving tips.
Avoid getting into an accident related to traffic jams or impatient drivers on the road by leaving plenty of time to get to your destination. Whether it’s a trip to find the perfect tree, a big shopping expedition, or last-minute Christmas errand running, remember that many other people will need to get to the same places you do, and all are in a hurry. Leaving earlier than you need to can be a sound investment in your life and health during the holidays.
Many individuals choose Christmas to overindulge in alcohol, or they can be sleep-deprived due to the stress of the season. You’ll need to be especially watchful of other cars’ movements and drive on the defensive more than usual. Likewise, make sure that if you will be drinking alcohol at a party, or think you’ll be especially tired before your drive home, designate someone to transport you.
Many people enjoy decorating their cars for the holidays, whether in the form of stickers and appliques, or even life-size antlers and “tails” for their bumpers. If this sounds like your idea of Christmas fun, make sure that any decorations you put on the vehicle do not impede your view of the road. Not only is this illegal, but even a small portion of covered window can substantially reduce your visibility, increasing the likelihood of a serious accident.
Get a Car Checkup
Winter driving is especially hard on your vehicle. It uses more fuel and other chemicals to continue running and keeping occupants warm; plus ice, snow and rock salt can be tough on tires. During all the running around that takes place during the Christmas season, it’s easy to forget errands like oil changes and replacing worn brake pads. But don’t make the mistake of putting these items off — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to Christmas car safety.
Secure the Tree
If you’ll be taking a Christmas tree home in your car, be sure that it is securely fastened to the roof. Failing to strap it down properly can turn an evergreen into a projectile missile when it comes to the cars behind you.