As the winter holidays draw near, everyone takes time off to spend time with family and friends. Unfortunately, for a Cincinnati car accident attorney, this is one of the busiest periods of the year. Holiday car accidents are extremely frequent and often result in severe injuries or even loss of life.
This helpful guide aims to provide you with simple but effective tips to prevent accidents and injuries during the holiday season. We will also explain what to do if you need to file a car accident claim.
Statistics Indicate that DUI Accidents Spike during Winter Holidays
One of the most common causes of holiday car accidents is drunk driving. This correlates with findings compiled by the American Addiction Centers, which have the top of the American holidays with the highest rates of binge drinking:
- the 4th of July
- Christmas to New Year’s Eve
The reality is that every day between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve is filled with temptations, from spending time in your parents’ home to visits to friends and the company Christmas party.
With this caution in mind, here are effective ways to keep yourself safe and avoid getting hurt in a car crash during the holidays.
1. Travel Early in the Morning or during Daylight Hours
The evening and the night are the riskiest periods for driving during the holidays. This is when everyone gets back home from parties. Some will have drunk a lot of alcohol. Others may be drowsy after a full and rich meal. And others may have malfunctioning car lights, making their vehicle invisible to other drivers.
This is why you should plan all your drives to start early in the morning and return to your home base while there is still daylight outside. This doesn’t give you much time, since the sun generally sets very early in winter. But it is one of the best options to minimize the risk of getting hit by another car.
2. Drive Defensively at All Time
Defensive driving is not only about not exceeding the speed limit and watching out for jaywalking pedestrians. An experienced Cincinnati car crash lawyer knows that driving in winter is extremely challenging, so you should consider:
- Avoiding driving on slippery roads
- Postponing a trip after a bad weather alert
- Checking all your blind spots carefully before making a turn or changing lanes
- Letting aggressive and tailgating drivers overtake you.
These simple defensive driving tips may help you avoid a severe crash, even if others are not as diligent as you.
3. Make Sure Your Car Is Roadworthy
Braking system malfunctions and worn-out tires account for many car accidents, even in good weather conditions. During the winter, the chance of causing a collision increases. Thus, you should have your car inspected at a reputable car repair shop before you start traveling for the holidays.
Also, make sure that it is equipped with either all-season or winter tires. Good tires can make all the difference since the braking distance on an icy road increases 10 times compared to a dry road.
4. Avoid Distractions While Driving
Driver distraction remains the main cause of all car crashes in the US. The fact is that many drivers do not realize what a long distance they may travel as if blindfolded when they take their eyes off the road for just a few moments.
For instance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it takes just 5 seconds to send or read a text. At a speed of 55 mph, your car will cover the length of two football fields.
This is why you should focus only on driving, excluding any other activities, such as:
- Using the mobile phone
- Interacting with the dashboard entertainment system
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers in the back seat.
5. Do Not Drink and Drive
Although the legal BAC level in Ohio is 0.08%, you should avoid getting behind the wheel even if you had one single drink. Every person reacts differently to alcohol and the slight form of impairment may cause you to lose control over the vehicle and cause an accident.
Steps to Take If You Were Injured in a Holiday Car Accident
If, despite all the precautions, you were hit by another car, remember to follow the following steps to maximize your chances of recovering damages:
- report the accident to the police and remain at the scene until the police officers finish the investigation
- take photos and documents of the crash scene and get eyewitnesses’ contact details
- go to the nearest hospital for treatment as soon as possible after the crash
- obtain a copy of the police report
- contact an experienced Cincinnati auto accident lawyer.
A Skilled Cincinnati Car Accident Attorney Is Ready to Help You Anytime!
It does not matter that it’s the holiday season, accidents may happen to anyone. A dedicated Cincinnati car crash lawyer is always prepared to evaluate your evidence and give you reliable legal advice.
If you have a solid case, we will represent you on a contingency fee basis – no fees unless we win your claim.
We offer each new client a free case review, so call us as soon as possible after your accident at 844-853-7373!