AAA reports one in three Americans will travel for the holidays this year. 112.5 million people across the country are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home to celebrate the season with family and friends - 102 million by motor vehicle - making 2018 the busiest holiday travel season on record.
Traffic accidents typically increase around the holidays for a variety of factors, including:
- More intoxicated drivers on the road
- More driers late at night
- Poor driving conditions
- Unrelated holiday stressors
When you are injured or a loved one is killed while travel during the holiday season, you may be entitled to seek compensation beyond what insurance offers. If your accident occurred in Indiana, call the South Bend office of Gardner & Rans at 574-233-6035 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation today.
Do Not Drink and Drive
Drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of holiday traffic accidents. It is important to remember that even one drink can impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle. During times of increased traffic, late at night or during the day, avoiding any alcohol if you plan on driving is the best bet.
Intoxication is not limited to alcohol. While recreational marijuana remains illegal in Indiana, it is readily available in several neighboring and nearby states. If you are driving in a state where marijuana is legal to consume, please remember that driving while high is just as dangerous as driving while drunk.
The only way to avoid causing an accident while intoxicated is to not drive while intoxicated. This includes legal and illegal drugs, prescriptions medications like opioids, or any other substance that interferes with mental and physical response times.
Turn Your Phone Off
Unless you are willing to hand your phone to a passenger to operate, turn it off. Your phone should not be used to talk, text, navigate, or do anything else that requires physical manipulation while driving. If you are using your phone for music or maps, set it before you start your car, silence notifications, and do not pick the phone up until the keys are out of the ignition. No one can safely drive while using a phone. Not even you.
Phones should be turned off or silenced and left out of sight and easy reach while driving. So too should any electronic equipment, including onboard electronics, be set before the car is started. There is no safe level of distraction.
There will be an excessive amount of traffic over the next few weeks. Be patient while driving. It is going to take you longer to get to your destination. You may face long periods of stop and go traffic. Be patient while in it.
Allow at least two to three car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you while moving. Avoid erratic lane changes and aggressive maneuvering. Drive like your life and the lives of those you share the road with matter.
If you are injured by an aggressive, intoxicated, or distracted driver this holiday travel season, Gardner & Rans is here to help. Give us a call at 574-233-6035 to schedule a complimentary consultation at our South Bend office right away.