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How to Stay Safe in Holiday Traffic

trafficThis time of year traffic accidents are on the rise. Shoppers are making a mad dash home from the mall, people are driving home from holiday parties, and people are travelling to visit family. With all of the additional cars on the road, and often distracted drivers, it’s more important than ever to practice smart, defensive driving.

1- Get Back to Basics. Remember all those safe driving tips your Drivers Ed teacher taught you to obey long ago? Now’s a good time to re-adopt those good habits. Keep your hands at 10 o’clock and 3 o’clock on the wheel- this helps give you the best maneuverability. Keep a good distance behind the car in front of you and maintain a safe space between you and the cars in the lanes next to you.

2- When you’re driving…just drive.  Put out the cigarette, put down the sandwich and hang up your cell phone. Focus on the road and situation around you. You never know when you may catch something out of the corner of your eye that is potentially dangerous. Taking driving time to just drive might also give you a few moments of relaxation everyday you would have otherwise gone without. (Many states have now adopted no-cell phone laws so you might just be avoiding a traffic ticket as well.)

3- Don’t mind your own business. Keep your eyes on the other drivers and vehicles on the road around you. Avoid drivers that are swerving, straddling the center line or just driving aggressively.  If you notice an impaired driver on the road it is best to pull off onto an exit or onto the shoulder and wait for the driver to leave your proximity. Don’t hesitate to call 911 to notify them- you might just be saving a life further on down the road.

4- Follow the Rules. Obey speed limits. Wear your seat belt. And by all means do not drive after consuming alcohol. A little extra precaution this holiday season can help save lives and prevent car accident related injuries!

5- Got a Teenage Driver? Review all of these tips with them and have them sign a Teen Driver/Parent Contract. Download a free copy here.

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