Some of our nation’s most anticipated and celebrated holidays are quickly approaching. While holidays are an exciting time and are often filled with family and friends gathering to celebrate, for those traveling, this can all too often lead to increased danger on the roadways.
During the holidays we are faced with additional distractions, obligations, and time commitments.
If you are traveling during the holidays, please use extra caution. This is especially important in Montana.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), Montana unfortunately comes in a close second (Wyoming is first) for deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. In 2014, in Montana existence of blood alcohol content was reported as the cause for 86 percent of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers.
While traveling, some important safety tips to remember include:
· Check the weather for your route of travel and plan accordingly.
· Buckle up.
· Never drive over the posted speed limit or at a speed above your ability to operate your vehicle safely.
· Drive at a speed and in a manner that recognizes poor driving conditions, not just ice and snow, but darkness and wet conditions.
· Drive defensively; including driving with the belief and anticipation that other drivers are not attentive and will operate their vehicle in unexpected hazardous ways.
· Be alert and well rested.
· Never drive impaired.
· Move over and slow down for emergency vehicles.
· Focus on driving – avoid all distractions including cell phones and electronic devices.
· Follow driving laws.
· Clean your windows, headlights, taillights, and signal lights prior to driving and throughout your trip.
· Use your headlights to increase visibility.
Millions of people travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving travel has increased steadily over the past 7 years and according to AAA, 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Millions of shoppers turn out every Black Friday and Thanksgiving evening to take advantage of Black Friday deals. The most common kinds of collisions that occur on Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday are backing or parking-related. Parking further away from store entrances and away from other vehicles may be well worth the extra walk.
NFL Game Days
Collision claims from zip codes around NFL stadiums is higher on days the home team loses or ties compared to when it wins, according to a study from the HLDI.
Christmas & December Driving
According to the Montana Highway Patrol, from 2013-2015 most crashes occurred during the month of December.
December can be one of the busiest times of the year for many families. Shopping, holiday parties, concerts, and additional pressures often accompany the holiday season.
Winter weather and driving conditions also impact our already tight schedules adding low visibility, snow, and ice to the roadways and increasing travel times. These factors coupled with distracted driving, impaired driving, driving too fast for conditions or in an unsafe manner, and fatigued driving are a sure mixture for disaster. It is crucial to always drive in a safe manner and to be aware of your surroundings.
New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day
January 1 is ranked #1 (tied with July 4) as having the most motor vehicle crash deaths according to statistics for 2010-2014 from the HLDI.
Drivers are faced with winter weather and adverse driving conditions. Unfortunately, driving under the influence of alcohol plays a major role in motor vehicle crashes that occur during this time of year. Never drive while impaired.
BE SAFE. BE HAPPY.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries resulting from an accident or crash, call us today at 406-542-3330 to request a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.