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Is it Safe to Drive During the Holiday Season?

young Caucasian woman driving red car

The holiday season often feels like a mixed bag. On the one hand, this is the perfect chance to visit with your family. But, on the other hand, the sheer stress of holiday travel can be overwhelming! 

One reason you might be stressing out is fear for your safety and your family’s safety. After all, you never know what dangers may be waiting on your journey, especially if you drive to your destination. 

Are these fears unfounded? Or are drivers rightfully afraid of driving over the holidays? Keep reading to discover the answer and learn more about the types of car insurance you’ll need to stay safe. 

Why is Holiday Driving So Scary? 

If you’re reading this, then chances are you mainly want to answer a simple question: is it safe to drive over the holidays? And in this case, the simple question has a simple answer: no, it’s not really that safe to drive at all! 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers experience more fatal car crashes during the holiday season than any other time throughout the year. And even when the crashes aren’t fatal, an expensive car wreck may interfere with your plans for the holiday season. 

To help protect your car, you can get car insurance includes collision coverage and not just liability coverage. But to help protect your life and your family’s lives, it’s essential to understand what makes driving during the holidays so dangerous. 

Added Traffic 

Why are there more fatal car crashes during the holidays than at other times throughout the year? One of the most straightforward explanations is that there are simply more people on the road. 

Think of it as a math equation. Every day, a certain percentage of drivers will get into car crashes. The more drivers that are on the road, the more crashes we are likely to see. 

While this may be the most basic reason, it is certainly not the only reason why the holidays are dangerous for drivers. And this is the perfect season to shop for some affordable car insurance coverage. 

several cars in traffic jam on road

Lack of Vehicle Maintenance 

Not all accidents during the holidays are caused by things like distracted drivers. In fact, many of these accidents are caused by a lack of vehicle maintenance! 

If you fall behind on things like oil changes and tire replacement, the results may be disastrous. A tire blowout could put your entire family in danger. And not regularly changing the oil could leave you functionally stranded somewhere far from home. 

Honestly, it’s best to establish a regular car maintenance schedule throughout the year. If nothing else, though, make sure to get your car serviced about a week or so ahead of your holiday travel. 

Stress and Fatigue 

Two of the biggest enemies to your safety during holiday travel are closely related. What are we talking about? Stress and fatigue, of course! 

Holiday travel can be intensely stressful. Drivers are under pressure to meet their families by a particular time, and delays from things like weather and traffic can add to your stress levels. If you are trying to keep children entertained while driving, things may be even more stressful. 

And even if you don’t get that stressed, it’s easy to get fatigued. Getting up early and driving long distances, especially after a big meal, can make you feel very sleepy. 

Both stress and fatigue can lead to car crashes. This is why it’s crucial to stay relaxed during the trip. Make sure to get plenty of rest, and don’t be afraid to hand driving duties off to your partner. 

Poor Driving Conditions 

As you can tell, holiday travel would be dangerous and stressful under the very best of circumstances. But thanks to the weather, you may not be driving in optimal conditions. 

Depending on where you live and where you are traveling to, you may be driving through snowy conditions. Alternatively, you might deal with ice, wind, rain, sleet, and more. And whether it’s you or someone else, drivers unfamiliar with navigating such conditions are likelier to get into a car accident. 

Be sure to research the weather forecast before you head out. And take the time to brush up on driving tips for the bad weather! Otherwise, you may find yourself shopping for better car insurance much too late. 

The Alcohol Factor 

You might expect that most car crashes during the holidays will occur on the highways or the interstate. But there is a chance someone will crash into you in town, as well. Why? It’s all because of drunk driving. 

For various reasons, more people drink and drive over the holidays. This includes people who are drowning their sorrows because the holidays make them sad. But it also includes people who are happy to be reunited with friends and family and have a few drinks to celebrate the occasion. 

Regardless of the reason, there is nothing more dangerous behind the wheel than a drunk driver. Drunk driving statistics indicate it is the cause for many holiday driving accidents. Therefore, make sure you are engaging in defensive driving for the entirety of your holiday travels to stay safe. Speaking of which, taking a defensive driving course can protect you during the holidays and actually drive your insurance premium down

Strangers In a Strange Land 

The final reason holiday travel is so dangerous is very simple. It’s because once drivers reach their destinations, they may not know exactly where they are going. 

With the help of GPS, it’s easy enough to navigate highways, interstates, and other major stretches of road. But until you spend a few days in an unfamiliar town, it can be tricky figuring out how to get from one place to another. 

Chances are you have often shaken your head over how bad those who live in your town drive. But, think about how much worse it would be if they constantly had to look up directions, and you will understand why holiday visitors make for such dangerous drivers. 

Protect Your Family This Holiday Season 

Now you know the truth about holiday season driving and some ways to make it safer. But what if you could drive knowing that you and your family are protected? 

Here at Freeway Insurance, we are proud to keep you safe with the best car insurance when you travel. Get started with a quote online, visit us at a local office near you or call us at (800) 777-5620

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