The holiday season is a favorite time to travel. It’s a time of celebration with family and friends. It shouldn’t be a time to deal with serious or fatal winter car accidents.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, one in four people take trips to see friends and family who live more than 50 miles away. Statistics show Lexington, SC roads are more dangerous than the majority of other states in the United States. Over the last ten years, South Carolina has seen an average of more than 800 deaths in car accidents each year and thousands of injuries.
Whether you are traveling to a holiday party across town, headed to the closest mall, or taking an extended trip to visit loved ones, it will be important to take extra precautions when driving to avoid a car accident in Lexington, South Carolina.
What Measures Can I Take to Prevent Lexington Car Accidents?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) warns people traveling to be aware of possible dangers and urges motorists to follow the usual safety tips for holiday driving:
- Take regular breaks. During a long trip, plan to stop every 100 miles or every two hours for a break, enjoy a view or make a quick coffee or restroom break.
- Skip heavy meals before setting out as all those carbohydrates and fat can make you drowsy.
- Use a designated driver and do not allow friends and family to drive intoxicated
- Buckle up no matter how long or short the distance traveled
- Put the cellphone away. Distracted driving causes a quarter of all crashes
- Properly maintain your vehicle and service your car before starting your holiday trip
- Rest up! Get a good night’s sleep before setting out
- Be prepared for heavy traffic and possibly ice and snow
- Plan daylight trips. This automatically reduces the risk of accidents
- Avoid aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, and improper passing
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Lexington During the Holidays?
Driving While Tired
Accident statistics prove that the more vehicles on the road, the greater the risk of a crash. It becomes even more dangerous when fatigued drivers are traveling long distances or rushing to reach their destination.
Weather is another factor. When the conditions are poor, with snow or ice-covered streets, you have a potential for a serious winter car accident.
Distracted driving and texting, talking on your cell phone, or fumbling with the car stereo or GPS while behind the wheel can lead to serious injury or possible fatalities.
Drinking and Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drinking and driving leads to a person dying in an alcohol-related accident every 51 minutes in the United States. Make plans to take a cab or bus if you plan to drink or choose a designated driver for the evening to get home safely.
Since more than 40 percent of all fatalities during Christmas and New Year’s involved alcohol, car accident attorneys in South Carolina can help if at any time you or a loved one is injured by an impaired driver.
Poor Eyesight at Night
There are more than 11 million people in the U.S. with uncorrected vision problems leading to impaired driving. At night, the iris opens up allowing in more light and glare into the lens, causing errors in eyesight. Driving in the dark amplifies pre-existing vision problems such as depth perception, color recognition, and peripheral vision. NHTSA states the driving fatality rate between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. is three times higher than the daytime rate.
It’s also important to prevent eye fatigue. Eyes get tired when the muscle that holds the eye’s lens in place is held in one position for too long, like when driving straight highways for long periods.
Resist the urge to speed. When driving too fast, you can easily lose control of your car. It also reduces your ability to react and avoid crashes. Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
The holidays can be stressful. Do not allow your stress to influence the way you navigate through traffic. It could easily lead to dangerous and aggressive driving like tailgating, racing to beat a stop light or possible road-rage incidents.
Consult with a Lexington, SC Car Accident Attorney Today
Being aware of the risks of holiday travel can make your trip safer. But, if you or a loved one becomes a victim, seek legal advice from a car accident attorney at The Jeffcoat Firm in Lexington, South Carolina.