With the holiday season in full swing, it is important to take steps to stay safe when you are on the road. The fact is, traveling during the holiday season is inherently dangerous. More people are on the road; many are stressed and fatigued, while others get behind the wheel after drinking. All these factors, among others, often lead to increased accidents, injuries, and fatalities in and around West Palm Beach.
It’s for this reason that you should always consider consulting the services of a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer.
Reasons Accidents Increase During the Holidays
Millions of people travel to visit family and friends, shop, and more during the holidays. Some of the main reasons that accidents tend to increase during the holiday season include the following:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is common after office parties or get-togethers with families and friends. Rather than putting your life and the lives of others at risk, call a rideshare service to get home safely.
- Road congestion increases the possibility of accidents.
- Distracted drivers traveling with family or friends and doing more than just driving while behind the wheel.
- Many people experience increased levels of stress during the holidays. When driving is combined with this increased stress, more accidents are likely.
- Bad weather conditions can also increase the likelihood of accidents. Florida is known for unpredictable weather conditions, resulting in wet roads and limited driver visibility.
- Fatigued drivers are another problem during the holidays. Many people travel far distances, which results in hours and hours of driving, increasing the possibility of fatigue-related accidents.
- Improperly maintained vehicles can result in more accidents, too, especially if traveling a long distance. In fact, this can contribute to accidents and is something that is not easy to fix.
How to Stay Safe While Driving in West Palm Beach This Holiday Season
If you plan to drive this holiday season, it is smart to use the tips here to keep yourself, your passengers, and others safe while on the road. These tips include the following:
Avoid Using Dangerous Intersections at Night (When Possible)
In West Palm Beach, some intersections are inherently dangerous. During the holidays, the danger increases due to more traffic and other issues. Some of the areas you should try to avoid (if possible) when traveling include the following:
- Southern Boulevard and U.S. 441
- Military Trail and Okeechobee Boulevard
- Congress Ave. and Gateway Boulevard
- Military Trail and Forest Hill Boulevard
- Boynton Beach Boulevard and Congress Ave.
If you have to use these intersections, be sure to be more careful than usual. Avoid distractions and stay aware of your surroundings to avoid being involved in an accident.
Do not Drink and Drive
This is a tip you should use throughout the year. However, having a drink with friends, at an office party, or at a family event is common during the holidays.
While many people drink responsibly, some underestimate the impact alcohol has on their ability to drive safely.
Consider the following impact that drinking has based on the number of drinks you consume:
- After two drinks: Your ability to perform simultaneous tasks and track rapid motion is reduced.
- After three drinks: Your coordination and ability to respond to an emergency are reduced.
- After four drinks: You will experience issues with short-term memory, have reduced concentration, and cannot control your speed. Also, your ability to perceive your surroundings and process information will be impaired significantly.
- After five drinks: You cannot stay in your lane and break proficiently.
- After seven drinks: You will experience the inability to maintain control of your vehicle, process information, or comprehend your surroundings.
As you can see, even just a few drinks can impair your ability to drive safely. If you drink, make sure you have alternative transportation available.
Stay Aware of Local Events
While travelers are likely heading to events across the West Palm Beach area, it is smart to know the most popular events. This will let you know when and where there will be a lot of traffic.
Some events to know about this year, and avoid driving in the area, include the following:
- December 9th – Holiday boat parade at Boynton Harbor Marina
- December 10th – Annual Holiday Craft Fair at the Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds
- December 25th – Christmas Day Live Music at The Square
These are just a few examples of the events going on this year. It is a good idea to know the others to ensure you know what areas to avoid.
Use the Proper Child Restraints
Are you going to be traveling with the children? If so, you need to make sure that you use the proper child restraints to keep them safe if an accident does occur. If you do not have the proper restraint for your child, make sure to get it before your holiday travels.
Watch Out for Drowsy Drivers
Reckless or drunk drivers do not just cause accidents during the holiday season. Accidents can also be caused by fatigued or drowsy drivers.
During this time of the year, people are trying to cram in a lot of work before they are off for the holidays. Also, constant holiday shopping can lead to fatigue. Because of this, cases of sleep deprivation are more common. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before driving to help you stay aware and alert. Driving drowsy should always be avoided.
Avoid Heavy Meals While on the Road
You may feel more fatigued if you eat a carb-heavy meal while driving. While carbs are energy for your body, if you eat them and sit for several hours, they will turn to sugar and blood glucose. High doses may make everyone, even those without diabetes, drowsy or cause them to sleep. If you keep your carb levels down, you can stay more alert while behind the wheel.
Distractions can be dangerous any time of the year. However, during the holidays, they can be deadly. Be sure you stay aware and keep your mind on the road and the task of driving.
Contact Our Legal Team if You Need Help with Your Auto Accident Claim
If you are involved in an accident during the holidays, be sure to contact our legal team at Fetterman Law for assistance. We can review the facts of your case and help you file a claim against the at-fault party.
Accidents during the holiday can be particularly difficult as this is a time you shoenjoy. We are here to help with your accident claim and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.
The first step is to contact our personal injury law firm to schedule a free initial consultation. We will help you with each step of the legal process.