The holidays are fast approaching. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families stayed home last year, opting for a quiet holiday season instead. This year, many American families are already making plans to spend the holidays with their loved ones.
While Covid-19 is still very much in the picture, there are likely to be more people out and about this Christmas than in 2020. Last year, AAA predicted a 29 percent decrease in travel, while still expecting around 82 million Americans to travel to their destination by car during the holidays. That number will likely increase considerably in 2021 with many Americans being vaccinated.
How can you stay safe during the holidays while driving in Atlanta?
As most of us know, the holiday season brings a number of additional challenges that can make safe driving difficult. Throw into the mix adverse weather conditions, fewer daylight hours, and many drivers in unfamiliar areas, and you can see how holiday driving in Atlanta might be taxing.
The best way to stay safe driving in Atlanta over the holidays is to take a deep breath, stay calm, and expect delays!
Below are some additional tips to make your Atlanta holiday driving less stressful—and safer.
- Avoid impulse travel—always plan ahead. While it is important that your vehicle is in good shape for travel all the time, it is even more important when you may be encountering inclement weather conditions. The last thing you want is to be stranded in the middle of an unexpected snow or ice storm. Keep a windshield scraper, a flashlight, a blanket, water, snacks, and other emergency items in your trunk at all times.
- Make sure you are well-rested before you head out. Many studies have found that overly fatigued drivers are almost as dangerous as impaired drivers. In fact, according to the CDC, being awake for 18 hours is the same as an individual driving with a BAC of 0.05 percent, and being awake for 24 hours is equal to a BAC of 0.10 percent (over the legal limit). Lack of sleep can make you less alert, affecting your coordination, reaction time, and judgment.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. In other words, follow the speed limit, and in bad weather, adjust your speed accordingly.
- Be a defensive driver. No doubt about it, road conditions and holiday traffic can be frustrating. Mind your own stress levels and let impatient or aggressive drivers get ahead of you when possible.
- Never drink and drive. If you plan to drink, make arrangements for a designated driver or ride-share. Drinking is a part of the holiday cheer but don’t let it end up affecting your future. DUIs have far-reaching consequences, so never drink and drive.
- Limit distractions in the car. Our lives are full of distractions, many of which follow us into our vehicles. If you are traveling with children or pets, make sure they are all securely strapped in. Don’t text and drive and if you want to eat, pull over and either go inside or eat in your car in the parking lot. The few minutes you might save by eating while you drive could seriously cost you.
- Check the weather forecast. Before you head out, check the weather forecast for where you are traveling. Make sure to look for any unsafe road conditions, as well as impending storms heading your direction. If you can avoid traveling during poor weather, it is considerably safer.
- Get your car serviced. Before you head out on a road trip this holiday season, be sure your car is up-to-date on maintenance. Have your mechanic check your car for winter roadworthiness. Does it have adequate tire traction? Are your brakes working properly? Your car needs to be able to handle the long road and the unpredictable weather you might encounter.
If you do get into an accident, it is important to remain calm and call 911. This will alert medical teams and police officers to your accident site quickly. Getting a thorough medical exam and having the police write up an accident report are two of the best ways to protect yourself after an accident.
After you have been seen by a medical professional, the next step should be to contact a car accident attorney. Your attorney can negotiate with insurance companies for you, so you can focus on your recovery and on getting your life back on track after a serious accident.
Contact Our Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers
For years, the Kim Law Team has been there to help injured car accident victims and their families in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. From Buckhead to DeKalb, we have what it takes to win our case. Our law firm offers FREE initial consultations and reviews, so you can get the answers you need – when you need them. We know that you need someone on your side after a crash, and we want to be the first — and only — call you need to make! Call 404-587-8946 or fill out our confidential contact form. Just call and JUST WIN.