Because 2020 has been challenging enough

Let’s be honest: Regardless of the current guidelines and recommendations, many of us will still be driving to attend get-togethers with family or friends, albeit lower key on average. For some, that will include traveling across multiple states, which is why the Lawler and Lawler Injury Firm of Marian wants to remind everyone to make safety a priority, as car accidents and injuries have a history of increasing during the holidays.

How Serious Is It?

According to an article from the American Safety Council (ASC), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are three of the most dangerous times of the year. Upwards of 500 people are killed nationwide in holiday traffic accidents. Imagine family holidays moving forward when you or a loved one suffers serious or even life-threatening injuries? The impact can be both tragic and far-reaching.

Even with the pandemic, there is a likelihood that millions of Americans are going to be hitting the roads, so being aware of the potential dangers and how to avoid accidents and injuries is crucial.

Seasonal Travelers

Illinois will have its share of increased traffic, just like any other state. Many drivers will be unfamiliar with the local traffic. If you are staying in Marian, Harrisburg, Metropolis, Benton, Carbondale, or anywhere else throughout IL, keep in mind that other drivers may not know precisely where they are going and therefore prone to making sudden stops or lane changes. Try not to follow too closely, and to keep other aggressive driving tendencies under wraps.

If you find yourself traveling out of town during the holidays, avoid searching for directions while you are driving, and try not to make the same sudden stops or lane changes we just warned you about above.

Bad Weather

In reviewing a report from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), we see that of the nearly six million car accidents that happen every year in the U.S., with roughly a quarter of them having adverse weather conditions as a major contributor. It is not just heavy snowfall or icy roads. Per the report, half of all weather-related accidents occur in wet, rainy conditions. Rain impacts tire traction so be sure to reduce your speed and give yourself time to arrive safely.

Bad Driving

Remember to have plenty of rest before taking a long road trip and keep your mind on the driving rather than where you are going or what you are going to do when you are there. Why? Because the most common denominator in holiday accidents are the reckless actions of other drivers, and you do not want to be part of that statistic. People get more fatigued after being in the car for an extended period. They get caught up in the new scenery and get excited about who they are going to see and what they are going to do…and lose track of where they are. It can happen to anyone, while anyone can prevent it from happening to them.

Prepare for Your Holiday Trip While You Avoid Holiday Accidents

Accidents are just one potential hassle for the holidays…breaking down is another (and can lead to an accident if you are not careful). There are several things you can do to prepare:

  • Schedule a routine maintenance check of your car’s brakes, tires, battery, and fluids
  • Check to make sure your windshield wipers and lights are working properly
  • Keep an emergency kit with a flashlight, gloves, blanket, and bottled water, plus jumper cables, flares, and basic tools, just in case
  • Keep your cell phone fully charged, along with a list of emergency contact numbers
  • Let friends and family know which route you will be taking and your expected arrival time
  • Always wear your seatbelts
  • Do not text or make calls while driving
  • Obey traffic signs, signals, and speed limits
  • Use caution with driving at night or during diminished visibility
  • Do not get behind the wheel if you are under the influence of alcohol or medication, or exceedingly tired or fatigued

Unfortunately, all the preparation in the world does not prevent all accidents. If you or a loved one experiences a traffic accident during the holidays or any other time during the year, please keep in mind that Lawler and Lawler is a respected personal injury law office in Marion, with additional offices in Harrisburg, Metropolis, Benton and Carbondale.  Meet a personal injury accident expert at Lawler and Lawler by clicking here or by calling 618-997-5555. The call is free, while our preference is for you to have a safe and happy holiday season.