Christmas is a cheerful season, but it can also be a very chaotic one. One risk factor that increases exponentially around the holidays is driving-related incidents or stress. People are traveling, rushing to the store for a last-minute gift, and there’s often the added risk of icy or snowy conditions. To keep yourself safe this season, we’ve put together some Christmas holiday driving tips for you to consider:
Take Your Time
One good way to prevent high-risk situations is to avoid the forceful “rat race” nature of shopping and traveling during this time. Drive carefully, give yourself wiggle room, and don’t rely solely on a specific gift if you’ve waited until the last minute. If you have a very specific gift in mind, give yourself a break by getting it earlier before the holiday craziness truly sets in.
Drive defensively, not aggressively
Maryland and the surrounding DMV area are notorious for aggressive drivers and myriads of car accidents. In a time that can include increased stress, excitement, and far more travel while within those factors, driving defensively is even more important than usual to follow. There are hundreds of fatal crashes during the Christmas Holiday nationwide each year, and non-fatal auto accidents or collisions also increase exponentially. Driving defensively can be a great way to prepare for and avoid the increased risk of both.
Always track weather
Before you head out, make sure you know the forecast for your area. A snowstorm or wintry mix can begin in a flash and make a safe road incredibly treacherous within a few moments. During a storm, you have less time to react, less visibility, and traffic tends to grow heavier and slow down because of these factors.
PROPERLY clean your car of snow and ice!
Failing to scrape snow and ice off your vehicle properly can be a major danger to yourself and other drivers. While snow flying off the roof of your vehicle may seem harmless, it can block other drivers’ views of the road temporarily. Ice layered on a roof has been known to fly off and break windshields and dent other cars! As unpleasant as it may be, it’s vital to make sure you do a full and complete job when scraping snow and ice off your car. Lastly, do NOT throw hot water onto your windshield or windows to quickly melt snow and ice. The rapid change in temperature can crack or shatter the glass surface.
Driving in the Maryland/great Baltimore and DC area is already a stressful and often dangerous experience. During the holidays, it gets significantly more so! Drive responsibly, defensively, and plan ahead. If you follow these Christmas Driving tips, your trip will be safer and much more pleasant. Happy holiday motoring!