(NAPSI)—The holiday season, with its festive spirit, family gatherings, and vacation plans, can also include some unexpected driving challenges—but you can still navigate them safely.
How to Drive Down Your Risk
Here’s a rundown of unanticipated driving hazards of the fall and winter holidays and how to tackle them.
1. Distractions Galore: The holiday season can be distracting with dazzling light displays, roadside decorations, and parades. While they add to the festive spirit, they can divert your attention. Solution? Stay focused. Remind yourself constantly to keep your eyes on the road and be extra cautious in areas with heavy decorations.
2. Early Sunsets: With Daylight Saving Time over, it gets dark earlier. Combined with fog or rain, early sunsets can reduce visibility considerably. Be sure your vehicle has fog lights and that all lights are functioning correctly. Avoid high beams in foggy conditions as they can reflect back and impair visibility further.
3. Increased Traffic: Holiday shoppers, travelers, and delivery trucks flood the roads during this time. Try to plan your trips during off-peak hours and always factor in extra time. Check traffic updates before heading out and consider alternate routes.
4. Unpredictable Weather: Fall and winter bring a mix of rain, fog, ice, and sometimes even snow. Regularly check tire pressure and tread depth. Ensure wipers are in good condition and use defrosters to keep windows clear. If you’re driving in snowy regions, consider investing in snow tires or chains.
5. Impaired Drivers: Unfortunately, the holidays see a spike in alcohol consumption, and consequently, impaired drivers. Stay vigilant, especially during nighttime. If you spot a vehicle swerving or driving erratically, maintain a safe distance and consider reporting them.
6. Parking Lot Perils: With malls and shopping centers bustling, parking lot incidents increase. Watch out for pedestrians and cars backing out without noticing. Always park in well-lit areas and be patient; rushing can lead to fender benders.
7. Fatigue: Between holiday preparations and long drives, fatigue can set in. Remember, a drowsy driver is as dangerous as a drunk one. Plan breaks during long trips, share driving responsibilities if possible, and consider an overnight stay instead of driving back late.
8. Wildlife: Fall and winter are active times for wildlife. Deer, in particular, can be more prevalent on roads, especially during dawn and dusk. Always scan the road ahead and use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic.
The holiday season does present unique driving challenges, but with awareness and preparation, you can get around them. As you celebrate and travel, make safety a priority. After all, the best gift you can give your loved ones is ensuring you arrive safely.
For more driving resources and test preparations, check out https://driving-tests.org.