DRIVE SAFELY DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Now that the season has changed and time has fallen back, keep in mind that around this time of year auto accidents increase by 30%. Now that time has changed, it is typically darker around rush hour. While driving in the summer and spring months are typically easier to see hazards, most commuters may find it hard to adjust during the winter season due to less lighting and poor weather conditions. Here are some tips to stay safe during this holiday season. While we are your local auto injury chiropractor in Dallas-Fort Worth, we would prefer that you stay safe during your travels.
PREPARING FOR THE DRIVE
Now that time has changed, you will want to give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going. Also, don’t forget to make sure your car is ready to be driven:
- Make sure your headlights are visible in the dark, clean them along with the brake lights, signal lights, bright lights, and any backup lights. The best way to do this is to remove the lamp covers and use a headlight cleaner that can be purchased at an automotive store or Walmart. Toothpaste can work as well!
- Ensure that the traction on your tires is still in good condition. Don’t forget to check air pressure and you can always do the penny test for tread!
- Turn on any traction control on the vehicle and adjust your speed accordingly. Remember the roads will become harder to drive on if it has been sleeting or raining, you may not see the ice and rain will make any oil on the road slick.
- Maintain a safe distance behind any vehicle. Stay at least 3 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you.
- Replace windshield wipers and top off windshield wiper fluid.
- Ensure that your emergency kit has water, blankets, and heat packs for any off road emergency.
ON THE ROAD
According to the National Safety Council, 25% of all driving is done at night, however, 50% of traffic deaths happen during night hours.
- As a driver ages, glare, distance, and lighting may become less clear and bothersome. At 60 years of age or older, a person will even begin to judge speed less clearly. And a 50 year old will need twice as much lighting as a 30 year old.
- In November, deer are at the peak of their mating season. This means that traffic accidents are more likely to occur in rural areas where the deer and feral animal count increases. PETA has stated that 1 out of 100 drivers will hit a deer during a driver’s life. During the fall and winter seasons you are 3.5 times more likely to hit an animal, according to IIHS.
- As the sun moves closer to the horizon, it becomes blinding to drivers during rush hour. Always keep sunglasses handy and never look directly into the lights of oncoming traffic at night.
- Child safety is also important, as we would like to bundle up the babies during the cooler months, remember that a harness on a car seat can be impeded by overly thick coats and blankets. Make sure to use thinner materials in a car seat. You can use blankets, mittens, hats and booties to ensure that all children will be able to keep warm in the car. But a child restraint system may fail during an accident if the child is able to slip out due to overly thick jackets or snow gear.
- Teen driving is also important during this time, remember to limit a teens driving during the winter season to ensure that teens are kept safe during the holidays. Every year, 6 teens between the ages of 16-19 die in driving accidents daily.
This season should be filled with joy, thanks, and family cheer. Make sure to keep safe this holiday season and prepare for the weather and lighting changes that have and will occur. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep all emergency preparedness up to date. If you do unfortunately find yourself in an auto accident contact Accident Centers of Texas of Dallas-Fort Worth for a free consultation today. Don’t just assume you are fine. Let our qualified and caring chiropractors assess you to help ensure no long term problems arise.