Take Extra Care While Driving During the Holidays

539118-make-holiday-driving-breeze-with-safety-tips-from-ford.1-lgIn December we are often busier than most months, getting ready both at work and at home for the holidays, whether it be meeting end of year deadlines at work, getting ready for visitors or arranging travel, buying gifts and squeezing in time to visit with friends.

The cautionary tales of driving during the holiday season usually revolve around the incidents of accidents caused by impaired drivers.  But, we do not think about the impact that holiday stress can also have our ability to operate our vehicle safely.   In December 2014 there were 45 fatalities caused by distracted driving, 48 fatalities from road conditions, compared to 20 fatalities caused by alcohol or drugs (Source:  Insurance Corporation of British Columbia).

Stress can manifest itself in symptoms that we all need to be aware of, especially when we are driving as it means extra risk when behind the wheel. We might be getting less sleep, we may have a million things on our mind and therefore are more distracted.  Some may feel overwhelmed with holiday expectations and have difficulty concentrating. All of this can result in spikes of crashes, injuries and near misses.

What Can you Do?

The Public Health Agency of Canada has released an information sheet entitled “How to Deal with Holiday Stress”.  It has some great advice for how to navigate the holiday season calmly and without incident.  http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/stress-eng.php.  In addition, some tips to avoid distracted driving:

  1. Allow plenty of time for travel
  2. Review all maps and directions prior to driving;
  3. Prepare children with everything they need prior to driving;
  4. Preset climate control and radio control prior to driving;
  5. While you’re driving, allow phone calls to go to voicemail;
  6. Do not text, surf the web or read emails;
  7. Do not eat, drink or groom;
  8. Do not smoke;
  9. Keep two hands on the wheel for better control and less fatigue;
  10. Keep your eyes and mind on the road.

Stay safe and drive carefully this holiday season. Happy holidays from Hemmerling Law!

For a free 1/2 hour consultation to discuss what you can do if you have been involved in a car accident, contact Caia Wojnarowicz at (250) 448-7200 or caia@hemmerlinglaw.com.

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