The holiday season is the busiest travel time of the year, dominating both the social and the economic environments of November and December. To participate in this national pasttime and to connect with family and friends, people across the country invest billions. And as classic movies about holiday travel misadventures diagram all too accurately, this frantic disorientation (taking a dizzying maze of “planes, trains, and automobiles”) can lead to surprising risks and lapses in judgment.
Unfortunately, such errors and omissions don’t always lead to tidy, cinematic resolutions (a la Steve Martin inviting a lonely John Candy to join the family for a warm meal.) Real risks abound. So what should you and your family do to play it safe? Here are some tips:
- Before you start a long road trip, have a mechanic check your car for any safety issues.
- Check the weather reports around your travel dates, and try to plan your driving to avoid inclement weather.
- If you’re traveling a long distance by car, make a hotel reservation for part-way through the trip, even if you’re not planning to stop. You can generally cancel early in the day if the trip is going well, and you have the security of a place to stop if something unexpected comes up.
- Use a GPS device such as Garmin or TomTom for directions, rather than relying on a cell phone or map, which can lead to distracted driving.
- Prepare for the unexpected by stocking your car with a first aid kit, jumper cables, a small tool kit, and other emergency supplies.
- Be aware of what typical holiday traffic looks like along your route, and if possible plan your departure so that you can avoid the times of highest traffic volume.
- Of course, you should obey all traffic laws and posted signs – including the speed limit!
For more tips on staying safe this holiday season, see our post on 7 Holiday Safety Tips.
If you’ve been injured due to someone’s negligence or carelessness, our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help you obtain fair and complete compensation for your injuries, lost productivity and other costs.