With the holidays fast approaching, traffic is at an all-time high as millions of Americans travel to visit friends and family.

What are some driving tips to follow this holiday season to ensure safe travels on the road?

Keep an Eye on the Weather Forecast How to Drive Safely in Massachusetts

Winter weather such as snow, sleet, and freezing rain can decrease visibility and create icy roadways. If the weather is severe, consider postponing or rescheduling your departure. Be sure to drive cautiously, leave extra following space, and reduce your speed in poor weather conditions. And always clear your car of snow and ice, which can cause terrible injuries when it flies off of cars at any speed.

Never Text and Drive

Texting and driving is extremely dangerous. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, taking your eyes off the road to read or send a text for five seconds while driving at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. It is imperative that drivers always have their full attention on the road.

Never Drive Distracted

In addition to texting and driving, there are multiple other forms of distractions while on the road. Distracted driving is defined by the NHTSA as any activity that diverts attention from driving including talking on the phone, checking social media apps, eating, drinking, and operating the stereo, entertainment, or navigation systems. If you are driving with other passengers, ask them to navigate or make calls on your behalf.

Never Drive Impaired

According to a recent study on car accidents conducted by the NHTSA, 56% of seriously or fatally injured drivers tested positive for alcohol or drugs. It is illegal and incredibly dangerous to drive impaired – make sure everyone driving is sober before getting on the road.

Practice Defensive Driving

Make sure to be wary of other drivers on the road around you while driving this holiday season. If other drivers are operating their vehicles dangerously, make sure to leave ample following space between your vehicle and theirs, stay alert, and notify authorities when it is safe to do so.

What are some preventative tips to take before driving to keep drivers and passengers safe?

Make Sure your Vehicle is in Proper Working Order

Before departing, make sure to check your vehicle’s gas level, battery, tire pressure, and general condition. If there seems to be an issue with your vehicle, address it prior to departing.

Properly Rest Before Traveling

A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 328,000 car accidents occur annually due to drowsy or fatigued driving. It is important to be well rested before driving, especially if you are traveling at night for a prolonged period of time.

Map Out Your Route Prior to Departure

Make sure to plan your route before departing. Check for construction, road closures, or car accidents ahead of time and factor in time for those delays. Being aware of these conditions reduces hurried driving and can help decrease the likelihood of accidents.

Always Wear Your Seat Belt

Wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective ways to stay safe on the road.

Some of these simple steps can prevent accidents and save lives, but of course not all drivers follow them. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a car accident, you should consult a personal injury lawyer about the potential liability of the owner and/or operator. SUGARMAN has a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys who represent those who have been injured. If you have been hurt in an accident and wish to speak to one of our attorneys, please fill out a Contact Form, call us at (617) 542-1000, or e-mail info@sugarman.com.