It should come as no surprise, but driving in Texas during the Christmas season can be more dangerous than throughout the rest of the year. Then again, that seems a bit unfair and slightly misleading, as the same can pretty much be said about every other state in the country. Okay, so maybe tis the season to be jolly, but tis also a heavy shopping season, a time when people are distracted, thinking about what to get the kids or how they’ll pay for everything… and, their auto insurance premiums can take a major hit as a result of unplanned fender benders.
According to an auto insurance company review of insurance claims in Texas, more crashes were reported during the holidays than any other time of year. This trend is undoubtedly common throughout the country, but Texas was singled out by this survey. Of course, several factors can probably be linked to the increase of 20 percent in accident claims, such as the fact that more people tend to be on the roads traveling and shopping, including many who don’t drive much the rest of the year, more severe weather, and any number of other distractions.
While drivers should always be focused when behind the wheel, it’s even more important to practice safe and defensive driving during the Christmas season, since people are rushing around, looking for parking spaces, and concentrating on a variety of things other than driving. There may also be increased use of cell phones and texting…all of which can create extremely dangerous driving conditions. Extra caution should be taken on the highway, parking areas, and even your own driveway.
Per the report, the five worst collision days of the year in Texas over a five-year period were:
1. December 24 – up by 22 percent
2. December 18 – up by 21 percent
3. April 7 – up by 19 percent
4. December 1 – up by 18 percent
5. December 11 – up by 18 percent
If you happen to be superstitious, you may want to pay a little more attention than normal on these days.
That being said, you can follow three simple driving tips this holiday season to reduce your risk and keep you and your family safer on the roads.
• Eliminate distractions – Don’t use your cell phone to talk or text while driving or searching for a parking spot. Avoid switching radio channels or messing with unsecured items such as boxes, bags, children, or pets.
• Drive according to road conditions – Whether it’s very sunny, windy, raining, icy or snowing…slow down and give yourself additional distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Follow speed limits and drive safely.
• Never drink and drive – Don’t assume you can make it home after one too many. You might be dead wrong. Call a cab or have a sober friend take you home.
No one wants to be a statistic, especially one that involves an accident, injuries, or worse. A little extra caution can go a long way to keeping you and your family safe – so, you can all enjoy a happy holiday season this year and every year.
Do you practice safer driving tactics during the holiday season? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.