Whether you’re visiting friends and family, doing some last-minute shopping or getting to and from the season’s many festivities, there’s a very good chance you will be among the millions of Americans who will be sharing the roads this holiday season.
Before hitting the roads, it’s important to keep in mind that this time of year is one of the most dangerous to be a driver. People are in a hurry, some are tired from traveling long distances, weather conditions are often deteriorated, and of course as alcohol consumption levels increase, so do the number of drunk drivers on the roads.
Until self-driving cars become reality and solve most of these problems for us, here are three ways to stay safe on the roads this holiday season.
Ride Sharing Services
Drinking and driving is 100% preventable. Unfortunately, some still chose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated, putting their lives and the lives of others in danger.
Companies like Uber and Lyft are working hard to help decrease drinking & driving fatalities by offering party goers a much more convenient alternative to traditional taxi services. Not only can users get a ride with a single click of a button, but family members and employers can offer door-to-door transport to guests by setting up prepaid ride passes to encourage people to leave their cars at home, or at least not take the wheel if they are impaired.
While there is still no significant evidence that the ridesharing services have put a dent in the number of accidents linked to impaired driving, Uber told the Post that “80% of riders say that Uber has helped them personally avoid drinking and driving.”
Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are currently promoting the #LeaveTheKeys campaign to encourage people to take a pledge to leave the keys at home if their plans include alcohol. In addition, Lyft has partneredwith Budweiser this year to offer 80,000 $10 ride vouchers during the holiday season in an effort to provide people with an alternative to taking their car out.
Plan your itinerary
Whether you’re driving across country to visit grandma or doing some last-minute shopping, you should always plan your itinerary ahead of time.
Traffic, road and weather conditions all have an impact on the time it will take you to get from point A to point B. By checking in advance, you can better plan to beat traffic or avoid that nasty snow storm heading your way.
Google Maps and Waze are excellent navigation apps that will help you plan your route and get very accurate ETAs based on real time road conditions. You will know what to expect before you get in the car, as being stressed or frustrated may results in poor decisions and risky behavior behind the wheel.
Stay connected but not distracted
While most of us know better, the need to stay connected and use our phones while driving often seems more important than the safety of others and ourselves. This is especially true during the holiday season when there are so many things to do and people to see.
It’s important to note that connectivity doesn’t always equate to danger, and in some cases using an application like Find My Friends, Glympse, Life 360 and Google+ to share your location with others while you’re driving may even reduce the risks of becoming distracted. Others will know you’re on the move and that you’ll reply to their messages when you’re no longer driving.
Always remember that the holiday season is a time for celebration with friends and family. However, it’s also a time to exercise caution and be extra careful on the roads. What are some ways you are staying safe on the roads this holiday season?