As the holiday season approaches, the weather begins to cool. There’s also more precipitation, and the sun comes up later and later each morning. Even more concerning is in the increase in social drinking often associated with the holidays.
Most people understand that motor vehicles and alcohol are a bad combination, but people still get behind the wheel while impaired. Instead of trying to wish away these dangers, drivers should prepare themselves for the increasing potential for serious crashes that come with cold weather and the holiday season.
White Christmas can mean whiteouts, too
Morning commutes before dawn and driving back home after sunset can leave people at risk for serious crashes, especially when there’s inclement weather like rain or snow to consider. The more it rains or snows, the higher the risk for a serious accident.
Slick roads and low visibility are an issue throughout the fall, winter and into spring. Driving more carefully at night and during or after storms may be the best way to limit your risk for a serious accident during the holiday season.
Holidays are broadly associated with intoxication
There are a lot of reasons why people may choose to drink over the holidays. Perhaps being in close proximity with extended family is a source of stress. Alcohol can be a way for people to cope, in the short term, with those stressors. Holidays also put a lot of strain on people’s finances, between buying gifts and hosting get-togethers. That expense and the financial strain it causes can also lead to drinking. Whatever the reason, people drink more around the holidays than the rest of the year.
Sometimes, it’s just the temptation of the party. From Halloween to New Year’s, there will be plenty of chances for people to attend parties and social events with alcohol. While people do drink responsibly, some end up getting behind the wheel after having too much to drink. When that happens, everyone else on the road is at increased risk.
Be prepared for difficult winter driving
In order to keep yourself and your family safe and happy during the winter, you can take steps now. Start with a maintenance check of your vehicle performed by a trusted mechanic. Addressing any issues with your engines, brakes or other systems will help ensure your vehicle performs optimally under poor conditions.
Start planning to leave a little early for everything, from social functions to work. By allowing yourself a little extra time for your commute, you’ll be able to slow down and drive more carefully when the roads are bad. Equally important will be your ability to focus on other vehicles, especially in the evening. Watch for cars that swerve or other indications of intoxication behind the wheel. If possible, get off the route used by a driver you suspect is drunk. If you can’t just turn off, lower your speed to keep yourself a safe distance away from dangerous, erratic driving.