The holidays are a time when people travel to see family and friends. With all the extra traffic on the roads, it’s important to remember to drive safely. Here are some safe driving tips for the holidays and at night. 

Plan your route in advance and avoid busy areas  

When it comes to staying safe on the roads, it’s important to plan your route in advance and avoid busy roads if you can. Luckily, many GPS apps or devices will give you multiple routes to accommodate. This will help you avoid getting caught in heavy traffic and will allow you to plan your stops ahead of time. If you can, avoid driving during rush hours when the roads are most congested. Allow yourself extra time if you are leaving around a busy time, and be cautious of other drivers. 

Get plenty of rest before you drive  

Driving is a complex task that requires our full attention. For this reason, it’s important to make sure we’re well rested before getting behind the wheel. According to the NHTSA, drowsy driving is a major contributing factor in 91,000 car accidents every year. To help avoid becoming a statistic, experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep before driving. If you’re planning a long road trip, consider taking turns driving with a passenger so that you can take a nap when needed. And if you find yourself feeling sleepy while on the road, pull over and take a break. It’s better to arrive late than not at all. 

Buckle up, and make sure all passengers are safe too  

One of the most important safe driving tips is to always buckle up. It’s not only for your safety but for the safety of your passengers as well. Make sure all children are properly restrained in car seats or booster seats until they are tall enough to wear a seat belt safely. And remember, it’s never safe to drink and drive. So if you’re planning on drinking alcohol this holiday season, be sure to have a designated driver lined up ahead of time. 

Keep your car well-maintained and check the tires, brakes, etc. 

Staying safe on the road also includes keep your car running smoothly through routine maintenance. This includes things like regularly checking and changing your oil, as well as checking your tires, brakes, and other fluid levels. By keeping on top of these simple tasks, you can help to prevent more serious issues from developing down the road. In addition, it’s important to be proactive about repairs. If you notice something isn’t working properly, don’t wait to get it fixed. The sooner you address a problem, the less likely it is to cause additional damage. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your car in good condition for years to come. 

Pay attention to the road and don’t use your phone while driving  

According to the IIHS, researchers have found that using a cell phone while driving increases your risk of getting in a car accident. For this reason, it is crucial to keep your focus on the road at all times. If you receive a text message, wait until you reach your destination before responding. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe location first or use your vehicle’s controls. In Minnesota, the Hands-Free Law only allows cell phone use through voice commands or single-touch vehicle activation. Holding your phone while driving could result in a fine. 

Follow the speed limit and be aware of your surroundings 

Speed limits are set for a reason. Not only do they help to keep you safe, but they also help to keep everyone else on the road safe. In addition, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This includes keeping a safe distance from other cars, paying attention to traffic signals, and looking out for pedestrians and cyclists.  

With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to be extra careful on the roads. By following these simple tips, you can help to make your holiday drive a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved. If you’re in the Twin Cities and are involved in a car accident, we’re here to help. Call Superior Collision Center at our Eagan location.