7 Tips for Driving Safely During the Holiday Season

Holiday parties and gatherings will be in full swing in November and December. Ticketed shindigs at swanky venues, down-home cookouts with your nearest and dearest, business casual office socials, and high-energy dance parties are just a few of the happenings in Texas that dot people’s calendars in this season of celebration.

But there is one event you want to avoid during the holidays – a car accident that sends you to the emergency room.

One person is killed every 1 hour 57 minutes on Texas roads, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. One person is injured after 2 minutes 12 seconds. A crash is reported every 57 seconds.

An estimated 3.6 million Texans traveled the roads for Thanksgiving, followed by 8.8 million between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2 in 2021. On Thanksgiving alone, 13 people died in 10 vehicle crashes. Nearly 20 people lost their lives in 17 accidents on Christmas Day.

Millions of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and big rigs will undoubtedly be on the county roads, highways, and interstates once again.

Keep your holidays jolly by following these 7 tips for safe driving through the season.

Tip 1: Do Not Drive in Bad Weather

Do not drive if the road or weather conditions are unsafe or worsening. As much as you want to fa-la-la with others, it is best to cancel or reschedule if you cannot reroute the trips to avoid hazards. If you are caught on the roads in bad weather, drive to the conditions and do not speed.

Tip 2: Do Not Drink and Drive

Be a teetotaler when driving, or designate a driver who will remain sober. Do not drink or take illegal or prescription drugs. Even some over-the-counter medicines can cause impairment. Nearly one-quarter of people killed in a motor vehicle accident in 2021 were under the influence of alcohol.

Tip 3: Wear Your Seatbelt

Ensure you and your passengers are properly restrained in seat belts and car safety seats. Of all the individuals killed in traffic accidents in 2021, 46.2% were not wearing a seatbelt.

Tip 4: Do Not Text While Driving

Texas law prohibits using your phone (or any portable device) to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped. Drivers do not realize how distracted they are when using their phones. While not illegal, limit the hands-free use of phones as that is still a considerable distraction. In Texas, 433 died in 2021 in traffic accidents that involved distracted driving.

Tip 5: Drive Defensively

Driving defensively begins before you leave your home. Plan ahead to depart early. Do not be in a hurry. Be prepared to encounter heavy traffic. Your drive will likely take longer than expected. Obey all traffic laws. Do not cut off vehicles in traffic, especially 18-wheelers. These trucks are 80 feet long and weigh as much as 40 tons. They can’t maneuver or brake as quickly as passenger vehicles and pickup trucks.

Tip 6: Do Not Drive Drowsy

Stress and fatigue impair driving abilities. A driver’s reaction time is greatly diminished. Combining the hustle and bustle of the season with alcohol is a recipe for drowsy driving and accidents. If you are tired, hungover, or not feeling well, let someone else do the driving. In 2020, more than 630 died in fatal accidents caused by driving while drowsy. In the non-COVID shutdown year of 2017, the statistics were worse. Nearly 800 people died, and 50,000 were injured in collisions involving drowsy drivers.

Tip 7: Watch for First Responders

Every year in Texas, a first responder is killed because a driver did not adhere to the law. In Texas, drivers must move over one lane or reduce their speed by 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit whenever an emergency vehicle stopped on or near the road. This includes police cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and tow trucks.

Injured in an Accident? Protect Your Rights

Despite your best efforts to an avoid accident, you might be involved in a motor vehicle collision. If the accident is caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.

At The Webster Law Firm, our team of personal injury attorneys can evaluate your case for grounds to make a claim against the other driver. A successful lawsuit can provide financial peace of mind. Current and future medical bills may be covered as well as missed wages, prescriptions, and other costs you incur because of the accident.

Schedule a consultation by sending us an online message or calling (713) 396-5197. We will discuss your motor vehicle accident and explain the potential next steps.

Related Posts
  • Navigating the Legal Aftermath of a Texas Wildfire Tragedy Read More
  • Can March Madness Cause Personal Injuries? Read More
  • Navigating Personal Injury Claims in Texas: Your Essential FAQ Guide Read More