How Nevada Drivers Can Stay Safe During Holiday Travel
No matter where you live, nearly every family has experienced increased traffic during the holiday season. Whether you are simply going across town or taking a road trip, delays caused by backups and crashes are common. This year, each driver can commit to making the roadways safer for all holiday travelers. Here's what you should know.
Prepare for Delays and Emergencies Ahead of Time
Depending on how far you need to travel to spend time with your loved ones, plan your route and time of departure in advance to ensure that you are on the roads with the least amount of traffic. When traveling far to areas you are unfamiliar with, it is always ideal to leave earlier than anticipated—so avoid traveling on the days immediately before or after the holiday.
It's not uncommon for collisions to result from drivers speeding under stress, so be mindful of when your festivities are planned. Allowing yourself extra time to get to your destination ensures that you factor in the possibility of traffic delays or emergencies that may arise.
Creating an Emergency Kit
Another crucial component of planning for emergencies is ensuring that you keep an emergency kit in your vehicle with essential safety items. A variety of issues should be accounted for, including flat tires or maintenance issues, inclement weather, or collisions. You may also find it useful to have a smaller kit in the backseat and a larger one in the trunk. Here are some items you should keep on hand:
- A small tool kit or multipurpose tool
- Jumper cables
- Tire jack and spare tire
- First aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, gauze, etc.
- Weather-related items
- Reflective triangles or vest
- Flashlight and an extra set of batteries
Other items like a tow rope, work gloves, electric tire pump, non-perishable snacks, water bottles, and copies of important documents might also be helpful in specific emergencies.
Understanding Crash Causes During the Holiday Season
The holiday season can provide unique challenges to roadway users in addition to the influx of traffic. Crash factors and characteristics may also vary during this time. When looking to improve roadway safety, it's crucial to understand which may contribute to preventable collisions and how you can avoid them.
Although the Las Vegas metro area doesn't see many weather changes during the holiday season, drivers who travel out of state during this time of year should be prepared to handle changing roadway conditions due to snow and ice. If you are road tripping to a cooler climate this year, ensure that you add an ice scraper, snow brush, and tire chains or snow tires into your emergency kit.
Other hazards that may come up include construction areas, damaged roadways, debris from unsecured cargo, and, of course, other drivers. The holiday season is a great source of stress and fatigue for many individuals, so be conscious of how others are driving.
Driving Under the Influence
Unfortunately, the holiday season is infamous for having an increase in drunk driving-related crashes, so much so that the National Safety Council (NSC) tracks fatal crashes within these periods specifically. In their forecast for this year, they estimate:
- 485 fatal crashes during Thanksgiving
- 340 fatal crashes during Christmas
- 384 fatal crashes during New Year's
During these periods, the percentage of alcohol-involved crashes is expected to range anywhere from 29% to 38%, which is higher than the annual national average.
To reduce your likelihood of being involved in a DUI collision, make a backup plan for getting home safely if you choose to consume alcohol or stay in the location you are consuming it. Additionally, never get into a vehicle with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The holiday season can provide more driving distractions than many assume. Bright decorations lining the roadways, weather changes, and general stress/fatigue from being around groups of people can all impact your driving ability. Add this on top of the possibility of driving with excited children in the backseat, and your attention can be elsewhere throughout the entire trip.
While these are all a routine part of this season, commit to remaining attentive when on the roadway to ensure that you prevent avoidable collisions caused by distractions.
Las Vegas Car Crash Attorneys
Our Bertoldo, Baker, Carter, Smith & Cullen attorneys encourage you to have the safest holiday season possible by doing your part to reduce preventable collisions. However, even if you do everything correctly, understand the risk involved with traveling during this time of year.
If you or a loved one becomes injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, contact our team today. Free initial consultations are available by calling (702) 505-8115 or filling out this short form.