As the volume of traffic increases during the holidays, the number of crashes increases as well. But holidays aren’t the only days you should exercise caution.
According to Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation, the weekend before and the weekend after a holiday have nearly as many crashes and fatalities—sometimes more.
The holidays are just around the corner. Now is a good time to prepare yourself and your family for winter driving conditions and holiday traffic.
By the Numbers
In 2017, there were 15,683 holiday-related crashes in Pennsylvania and 144 associated fatalities.
Holiday-related crashes were most common in the following order – before and after Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Day, after New Year’s Eve and before Christmas Day.
Holiday-related crash fatalities were most common in the following order – after New Year’s Eve, before Labor Day, after Thanksgiving, before Memorial Day and on Labor Day.
Drunk driving increases during the holidays too; combined with winter road conditions, the risk of a crash increases substantially. Plus, more than ever, drivers get distracted, which increases the chance of crash exponentially.
Simple Ways to Prepare
Driver and vehicle safety is an easy way to prepare for inclement weather and holiday traffic. Below, you’ll find convenient checklists to help you get started:
Vehicle Safety Checklist
- Check tires for wear. Change tires if the tread is too shallow for winter conditions.
- Check car battery for proper voltage.
- Check the cooling system for enough coolant.
- During winter, keep gas tank half-full at all times to avoid unwanted condensation and freezing.
Prepare a winter storm kit for each vehicle. Ensure each kit has the following:
- Socks and waterproof gloves
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First-aid kit
- Windshield scraper
- Car battery cables
- Non-perishable snacks
- Bag of cat litter or sand (for traction)
- Cell phone adapter
Driver Safety Checklist
- Always know where you’re headed before you start driving. This includes knowing what route is safest for the trip.
- Always wear a seat belt.
- Never talk/text while driving. Always keep your eyes on the road.
- Don’t use cruise control in winter weather.
- Slow down. Speed limits are set for ideal driving conditions, not winter weather.
- Remove snow and ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle. According to state law, if snow or ice from your vehicle causes injury or death, you can be ticketed.
- Review the dangers of winter conditions with young drivers.
The holidays are an exciting time for families and communities. Help keep it fun by dedicating a little time to safety.
Help Is Always Here
Even with good preparation, an accident can happen suddenly and without warning. If you’re injured by another driver this holiday season, don’t panic: Hagelgans & Veronis is here to help you. Call us at (717) 295-7009 to speak with an experienced lawyer for free.
When you choose the injury lawyers at Hagelgans & Veronis, you benefit from more than 100 years of combined experience.
We’re devoted to personal injury and wrongful death claims. We handle only personal injury cases and will make sure you get the settlement you deserve.