Safety Tips to Avoid Travel Injuries During the Holidays
Anyone who attempts to travel during the busy holiday season is familiar with how crazy the process can be. But did you know that the number of long-distance trips to a destination more than 50 miles away increases by 23% during the Christmas and New Years holiday period? And while much attention is focused on airline backups due to inclement weather or overcapacity, the vast majority of holiday travel is by personal vehicles such as cars—roughly 91%, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
Unfortunately, higher volumes of traffic are associated with more accidents that result in injuries. Here’s what you need to know about travel injuries during the holidays.
Holiday Travel Risks
The risks of travelling during the holidays (especially by car) are numerous. Some important risks to consider before taking to the roads this holiday season are:
- Weather conditions. In general, winter is associated with higher levels of precipitation (rain, snow, sleet, etc.) Even in locations like Southern California, you are much more likely to encounter rain in and around December than other times of the year. Be sure to check your weather forecast before taking to the roads this holiday season.
- Traffic. The more cars on the road, the greater the risk of accidents. During the holidays, roads are more congested, so be especially aware of other vehicles on the road.
- Speeding. Driving above the posted speed limit is a factor in more than 30% of fatal accidents, and people are much more likely to speed in high stress situations like the holiday season.
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The holiday season is coupled with holiday parties, and holiday parties tend to involve the consumption of alcohol (and other intoxicating substances). Although driving under the influence of any substance is illegal, many are unaware of or ignore these laws and do so.
Safety Tips to Avoid Travel Injuries
If you need to travel over the holidays by car, here are some tips to avoid accidents and injuries:
- Drive defensively. Be especially aware of potentially impaired drivers.
- Have a cell phone or other device in case you need to call for help.
- Always wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts have been consistently shown to prevent or minimize injuries to drivers and passengers.
- Be sure your car is prepared for long-distance travel. Check the tire tread, battery power, breaks, and be sure that you have a safety and basic repair kit.
- If you are involved in a holiday accident, call 911 immediately. Even injuries that initially seem minor, may become serious and debilitating. It is imperative that you act quickly and are proactive in securing your rights.
Contact a Travel Injury Lawyer
As a victim of a travel accident injury, you will need to be your own advocate. Once you have sought medical attention, your next step should be to contact a holiday injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. The personal injury team at the award-winning Dominguez Firm has represented hundreds of clients in Southern California and has recuperated millions of dollars in injury compensation on their behalf. If you or a loved one is injured during this holiday season, call our offices for a cost-free consultation about your case at 800-818-1818.