Traveling during the holidays is common for people in Atlanta and throughout the country. Unfortunately, with so many more people on the road, the likelihood of accidents increases significantly.
However, that is not the only factor contributing to holiday accidents.
Over-commercialization, concerns regarding time off work, lack of time, and gift-giving pressure are all issues seen during the holidays that can increase the likelihood of accidents.
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The Top Reasons the Holiday Season Increases the Risk of Auto Accidents
Besides the reasons above, some of the top reasons that more accidents occur during the holiday season include the following:
- Increased traffic volumes. This results in congestion on the road and an increased possibility of an accident.
- Increased deliveries. With more people shopping online, more delivery vehicles are on the road. It is estimated that the total delivery vehicles on the road will increase by around 28% this year.
- Holiday stress. Pressured and stressed drivers are often in a hurry, distracted, and unaware of what is happening around them, increasing the potential of an accident.
- Road conditions. The holidays are usually accompanied by rain, cold weather, sleet, snow, and ice. These winter-weather conditions play a huge role in driving dangers during the holidays.
- Visiting family. Many people decide to visit family during the holidays, and as a result, drivers become fatigued as they drive multiple hours at a time to get to their destination. This results in them being less aware and having dulled reaction times.
- Driving on unfamiliar roads. When people travel to visit family, they often drive in areas they are unfamiliar with, which can increase the possibility of an accident.
- Alcohol consumption. During the holiday, people are more likely to drink, which means more drunk drivers are on the road.
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The Demand for Increased Awareness While Driving During the Holidays
Knowing the primary causes of car accidents during the holidays will help you drive safely and avoid accidents. However, you should also know why most of these accidents occur.
If you understand the issues and problem areas, you can take extra care and remain alert while in these areas.
Areas like I-85, Interstate 285, and the Georgia 400 are some of the most congested and busiest roads in Atlanta, and they become more dangerous during the holidays. The normal congestion is amplified by more people on the road, fatigued drivers, and drunk drivers, increasing the possibility of an accident.
However, regardless of what road or highway you decide to take this holiday season, be sure to drive the speed limit and use extra caution. Avoid any distractions and try to remain calm, even though the season can be full of anxiety for many people.
During the holidays, people search for gifts and entertainment sources since most are off work and out of school. This results in a lot of shopping.
The holiday season means that most shopping centers will be flooded with people and cars. Congestion will be a given, and even finding somewhere to park can be a nightmare. All this is mixed in with increased shopping carts, children, and pedestrians, which create the “perfect storm” for a serious and devastating accident.
The Metro Area
The downtown streets in Atlanta also become busier and more congested during the holidays.
All types of distractions, pedestrians, and lights can create hazardous driving conditions. While people who have lived there a while will find it challenging to navigate these streets, visitors to the area can create additional safety concerns.
If you want to try to avoid an accident while driving downtown, navigate the streets carefully, drive under the speed limit, and pay attention while going down one-way streets.
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Helpful Tips to Prevent an Accident This Holiday Season in Atlanta
Using a few tips, you can reduce the possibility of being involved in an accident this holiday season. These tips include the following:
- Change the oil in your vehicle. Even if you still have several hundred miles before your oil needs to be changed, it is good to have this done before you depart. When you change your oil, it will improve engine lubrication. Fresh oil also picks up several types of impurities. Changing your vehicle’s oil regularly will ensure it stays in good operating condition.
- Inspect the tires carefully. You need to see how much tread is on your tires. A good sign your tires need to be replaced is if the grooves in the tires are less than 2/32” deep. If you plan to travel in areas where there is rain or snow predicted, you need grooves that are 4/32” deep minimum. Having deeper grooves will ensure your tires perform well in poor driving conditions. Also, you need to look at the air pressure in your tires. When they are properly inflated, it will improve your vehicle’s handling while reducing the possibility of a flat tire. Also, properly inflated tires will help you get better gas mileage.
- Plan for congestion and traffic. You will be on the road longer than usual. You need to plan for the extra traffic to make sure you do not have to rush or speed.
- Follow the speed limit. While you may be in a hurry, you should never speed. Make sure you plan carefully and pay attention to changing conditions. Drive at or below the speed limit. Drive defensively and pay attention to the other drivers who are on the road.
- Plan breaks during long drives. If your road trip lasts over an hour or two, make sure to plan stops and breaks. Take time to get out of your vehicle, walk around, and grab a snack or coffee to help you feel less fatigued. For longer trips, have several people who will take turns driving.
- Avoid distractions. If you are distracted while you are driving, the likelihood of an accident increases significantly. Ensure you eliminate all potential distractions that will take your mind or eyes off the road.
- Take a safety kit with you. You need to include a safety kit in your vehicle that includes extra batteries, flashlights, cell phones, warm blankets, first aid supplies, jumper cables, and an ice scraper (if it may be needed).
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Contact a Personal Injury Attorney After a Holiday Accident
If you are involved in an accident that another person or party causes this holiday season, be sure to contact our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines. Our legal team will investigate your situation and provide you with a free initial consultation to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
We hope you will not need our services this holiday season, but we are here to help if you file a personal injury lawsuit.
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