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Tips to Stay Safe on the Road This Holiday Season

Truck dashboard with driver's hand on the steering wheel on the countryside road against night sky with sunsetThe holiday season is the time of year to spread cheer and enjoy yourself, but it’s important to not get reckless! One drink too many could mean you have a bad holiday season this year.

If you want to be safe on the road this holiday season, we’ve compiled a few tips to help.

1. Know Your Plans Before You Get There

Planning ahead is an essential piece of the holiday driving safety puzzle. If you’re heading out of town on a road trip, make sure you’ve gotten your car tuned up by a professional before you hit the road. Be sure to check weather conditions on a regular basis. You don’t want to be stuck with out a contingency plan! Take note of towns you may need to stop in along the way, and make sure there are hotels somewhere along your route, in case you need one.

If you’re staying in town, planning is still essential in order to ensure safety on the road. Holiday parties can be a blast, but you need to make sure you can get home safely. Check out hotel options, just in case you have too much to drink. Or, before you imbibe, make sure your phone is charged up, and plan to take an Uber or Lyft home if prudent.

Related: What You Need to Know about Drug Recognition Experts

2. Don’t Travel When You’re Too Tired

Getting behind the wheel when you’re not coherent enough to do so is no good for anybody. Being too tired can be just as bad as being intoxicated, and either action can lead to serious harm or death. If you’re sharing a long drive with someone else, make sure you take turns behind the wheel to prevent drowsiness. If you’ll be on the road alone, don’t stretch yourself too thin. Plan to only drive as long as you are comfortable driving in one day, and schedule overnight breaks if it’s a long trip. That way, you can be sure you feel rested and rejuvenated when you stick the keys back into the ignition.

3. Drive Defensively

You may not have had anything to drink, but you can rest assured that plenty of other drivers who are sharing the road with you have consumed alcohol. Play defense on the road; always watch for swerving cars and be ready to act to protect yourself from other poor driving maneuvers.  Inebriated drivers often won’t have the ability to react to sudden movements, so it’s on you to drive as defensively as you can.

Beyond this, even sober drivers tend to have a temper this time of year. There’s a lot of frustration and aggression that can play out when people hit the road during the holidays.

Stay away from impatient drivers and let them pass you when the opportunity arises. You’re more likely to come out of the situation unscathed that way.

4. Don’t Drive Impaired

You should never get behind the wheel when you’ve been drinking, and the holiday season certainly isn’t the time to try your luck. Police are always out in full force during the holiday season, and the last thing you want to do is spend this joyous time of year behind bars after the blue and red lights appear in your rearview mirror.

Sometimes, alcohol comes into the equation without a plan in place, but that’s okay. There are plenty of options in today’s world. If you can’t crash on a friend’s couch, reach out to any number of apps that’ll help you find a safe place to stay or a sober ride home. It’s simply not worth it to take a risk.

5. Don’t Drive While Distracted

You’re used to getting information from your smartphone right away, but that need for immediacy doesn’t belong on the roadways. Never text and drive. Your car is traveling fast enough to cover an entire football field before you can get through the first few lines of a text. You can set up auto-responders to let people know you’ll get back to them as soon as you’re safely able to do so. If you don’t trust yourself to stay away from the intrigue of your phone, toss it in the trunk so you can retrieve it when you arrive at wherever you’re going. That may sound like a drastic measure, but people who use their screens may discover this can be a life-saving option.

6. Stick to the Speed Limit

Speed limits exist for a reason. They’re in place for safety, to ensure you’re able to travel at a speed in which you can also stop in a reasonable manner if needed. On the interstate, it’s important to stick to the speed limit because your car is already traveling at a high speed and any unforeseen obstacle can throw you into a situation you weren’t prepared to handle. At 65 MPH, you cover about 100 feet per second. On city streets, you may be sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists, who are vulnerable to the speed and weight of your vehicle if you’re driving too fast to see them in time.

Staying safe on the road during the holiday season only requires a little bit of planning and a bit of extra caution. Plan for unexpected situations, whether that means consuming too much alcohol or being brought down by a blizzard, and you’ll be able to ring in the new year with lots of cheer.

Los Angeles DUI attorney Jon Artz is an expert in DUI defense. If you’ve found yourself in an uncomfortable situation that involved the backseat of a police car after a few too many drinks, you don’t want to go through the rest of the journey alone. Reach out to Jon as soon as possible so he can help you put this nightmare behind you quickly and get your life back to normal! Contact him online, or call him at (310) 820-1315.

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