Though the holiday season brings the joys of family, celebration and traditions, it also comes with a few downsides. For many the holidays mean extra traveling which can unfortunately result in risky driving conditions. If you travel during the holidays, here are some important safety tips:
- Always follow the speed limit. The temptation to go a little faster is particularly strong if you’re late for a party or at the end of a road trip but remember to obey traffic laws at all times. The few minutes you save aren’t worth a ticket or a wreck.
- Account for extra drivers on the road and factor it into your arrival time.
- Be careful about following too close. Make sure you leave enough space between vehicles so that you don’t get into an accident because you didn’t have enough time to react.
- Don’t drink and drive. Always bring a designated driver to holiday parties and meals if you’re going to be drinking. If you don’t have a designated driver, take a cab or use safe ride services.
- Always buckle up, and make sure your passengers are wearing their seat belts. Wearing a seat belt is the best way to protect yourself in an accident.
This month, a University of Texas engineering professor and some of his student researchers will travel to Washington D.C. to present their report on traffic hazards to the National Transportation Research Board Meeting. Their research could significantly affect public policy regarding transportation safety.
About 40% of vehicle accidents occur in an intersection, so much of the report is dedicated to identifying the factors that make an intersection more dangerous. The researchers found that intersections with blinking lights cause three times as many wrecks as those with traditional stop lights. Drivers exiting a highway are also much more likely to get in a wreck, particularly when they have to stop at an intersection soon after they exit.
The report was compiled based on analysis of almost 4000 wrecks. The researchers claim that focusing on safer intersections will help to reduce the risk of wrecks in the area around intersections. The report is expected to spur further research regarding unsafe intersections.
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