2009 Holiday Safety: Safe Driving Tips

Loved ones coming together is what the holidays are all about, but first you have to make the trip and get there. With road travel expected to increase this year due to the recession, drivers need to take more safety measures to avoid accidents.

SafetySkills offers these safe driving tips:

Know the weather conditions and how to drive in them. Seventy-five percent of all winter-weather related deaths can be attributed to driving in dangerous weather conditions.

Prepare you vehicle for winter driving. Check the tire pressure, windshield wipers and fluid and the battery, and keep the windshield and windows clean for proper visibility. Stocking the car with self-sustaining technologies and supplies also is encouraged, such as a first aid kit, blankets, matches, safety flares, flashlight, fully-charged cell phone and bottled water.

Stay alert. Driver distraction is becoming, in the words of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, an “epidemic” that caused 500,000 car accidents and 6,000 fatalities last year. Drivers need to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel at all times.

Never drink and drive. Thirty-six percent of all Christmas accidents on the road are alcohol-related. Those who become too festive for their own good should never get behind the wheel and instead should use a taxi service.

Plan for daytime driving. Three times as many fatalities occur during the night (6 p.m. – 6 a.m.) than during the day, according to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC).

“Driving this time of year is simply chaotic,” said Trey Greene, CEO of noodleStream.com. “The roads are busy and that mixed with the weather creates a dangerous environment for driving. Using these tips will help reduce the chance of car accidents and more importantly injuries and even deaths.”

To learn more about SafetySkills and to take the free hazardous driving conditions course, visit http://www.safetyskills.com/winter-driving.

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