It’s a proven fact that distracted driving is a major cause of automobile accidents that result in injury or death every year. But, with the holiday season upon us, some seasonal distractions can increase your risk of an unnecessary car crash to ruin your fun.
While cellphone use, whether you’re texting or calling, is considered a leading factor in many wrecks attributed to distracted driving, the holidays present other driving dangers that you may not have given much thought to. And, that can prove to be costly in more ways than one, if you have an accident.
Increased Traffic Multiplies Your Odds
The increased traffic alone multiplies your odds of an accident – from a minor fender bender to a full-blown wreck. With the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimating that 46 million people will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving and possibly even higher numbers during Christmas and New Year’s, added caution should be the rule of the road.
Safety Tips to Reduce Distractions
You may be planning to travel to visit family, friends or just hang around close to home to get in some early holiday shopping. Regardless of your agenda, you won’t be the only motorist on the road. So, you may want to follow these wise safety tips to reduce your distractions, when you’re behind the wheel this holiday season.
- Cellphone use. You’ve heard it before – don’t text and drive or make a call while driving. This is even more critical during the holiday season because others are distracted as well and that can result in tragedy.
Parking lots are especially dangerous this time of year. Spaces are limited and drivers tend to race for the first open one they see willy-nilly, risking life and limb to grab it before someone else does. These same drivers often pull out of those spots without looking. If you’re distracted as well, you could easily get your fender or door smashed in.
Furthermore, pedestrians and kids also frequently come out of nowhere as they hurry back to their vehicles. Using your cellphone as you circle the lot for a place to park could cause you to not see them in time, changing your life and theirs forever.
- Children and pets. Traveling anywhere with small children or pets can present a real challenge. Be sure to secure both before you get underway. If one or both need your immediate attention, pull off the road safely before attending to them. Never stare into the rearview mirror or reach into the backseat while driving since this could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- Loose gear, packages, and other possessions. When shopping for holiday gifts, be sure to store or secure packages to keep them from rolling or sliding across the back seat or in the storage area of your SUV. The constant motion can cause you to become distracted as you try to peer into the rearview mirror to follow their every movement.
- Let’s face it, we all know people who never stop talking. If you’re driving in traffic or a crowded parking lot, the last thing you want is someone barking directions or jabbering in your ear, when you should be paying close attention to your surroundings and potential road hazards, including someone backing out or crossing in front of you.
- Selfies and Instagram. While this falls into cellphone use, it now stands on its own. One of the new dangerous trends is to take a picture of yourself or you and your friends as you drive. Not only can engaging in this activity put your vehicle at risk of damage and higher car insurance rates, but it could end in injury or death for you, your friends or an innocent driver or pedestrian.
Although some distractions are impossible to prevent – the simple fact is – most of them are avoidable. Driving during the holiday season requires an added focus on those you can prevent to reduce your odds of being involved in a holiday wreck.
Something else you might find avoidable is paying too much for auto insurance. Baja Insurance – Dallas specializes in low cost car insurance. Whether you need SR-22 insurance or you’re just looking for the best auto insurance rates in Texas, you’ll find it at Baja Insurance – Dallas.