Nothing has people heading “back home” like the winter holidays. In fact, current estimates say that roughly 160 million people – or roughly half of the U.S. population – will be doing some long-distance travel this season.
That may make for an awful lot of car accidents. If you’re going to be among the travelers this year, being aware of the following dangers can help you find ways to mitigate them.
3 common factors in holiday-season car accidents
Whether you’re headed to Grandma’s house for the big holiday bash or you’re just taking a winter vacation with your partner, the biggest dangers tend to come from:
- Unfamiliar roads: Whether you’re visiting family in a different city and you haven’t been there for a while or you’re exploring a whole new destination, unfamiliar terrain can make driving more dangerous. I
- Increased traffic: No matter where you’re headed for the holidays, there are going to be thousands of other people headed that way, too. The increased traffic (and impatient drivers who are in a hurry to get to their destinations) can heighten the risk of accidents.
- Drowsy driving: Long journeys, coupled with all of the frantic intensity of the holiday season can contribute to driver fatigue – and drowsy driving has been deemed just about as dangerous as drunk driving.
What can you do to reduce the odds that you’ll be in a holiday wreck?
It’s hard to keep your eyes on the road and hunt for street names and house numbers. Navigation apps and a co-pilot in your front passenger seat can help you get to your destination safely. Make sure that you have plenty of sleep the night before you drive, and try to plan your trip so that you’re not on the road during peak traffic times.
If you are in a wreck this holiday season, don’t let an insurance company devalue your claim. It can take experienced legal guidance to understand what a car accident claim is actually worth.