Rock Talk

3 Tips for Safely Driving During the Holidays

Last updated on October 16, 2019 at 10:41 am

Did you know that two of the 10 deadliest driving days of the year are January 1 (#5) and December 23 (#3)?

New Year’s Day (beginning with New Year’s Eve) may make sense to you. But December 23 — two days before Christmas — is typically the third deadliest day of the year on the road!

Why? The most obvious answer is too much “holiday cheer.” We all must recognize that it only takes one or two drinks to impair judgment. There were almost 10,000 traffic fatalities in 2014 that involved a driver impaired by alcohol, according to government statistics.

Even if none of the above concerns you, consider that a DUI charge can cost you several thousand dollars. Yet, a cab ride will cost you only a few bucks.

Here is a good rule of thumb – when there is doubt, there is no doubt. Call a cab or a rideshare.

Here are three more tips for safely driving during the holidays:

Leave Early! Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi had a philosophy: if you aren’t 15 minutes early, you’re late. Adopting “Lombardi time” will help you be much safer behind the wheel. It may also help lower your stress level.

Stay Calm! The key to safe driving is attitude. Here are a couple of techniques to maintain a safe attitude behind the wheel.

  • Anticipate Others. Other drivers will cut you off and drive recklessly —you can count on it. Don’t get mad, don’t get even, just let them go!
  • Reframe. Imagine the other driver has an emergency situation.
  • Refocus. Remember the most important thing is for you and your passengers to arrive alive.

Stay Focused on Driving!

Put the phone away (in the trunk or the glove box) before you drive. Cellphones and texting while driving have become all too common.  There is nothing that comes out of your phone that can’t wait.

Remember the article that asked if multitasking is a myth. The human brain cannot handle two complex tasks, like texting and driving, at the same time.

Bonus tip: In the spirit of the holidays, be courteous and yield the right of way to another driver. You will be amazed at how many people are surprised and delighted by this. (And, it puts you in control of the situation.)

Plymouth Rock Assurance features blog posts by contributor Bob Ragazzo, a certified Defensive Driving Instructor, founder of Save Your Teen Driver LLC, as well as an Adult Driver Training company, Collision Avoidance Technology & Training LLC, and a nonprofit educational resource for parents and teens: The Parents’ Coalition to Stop Teen Driving Deaths NOW! Most importantly, he is the father of two young drivers, Nick and Patrick. Bob trains thousands of drivers each year, both experienced and inexperienced. He has authored dozens of articles on driver training and several eBooks, including: “7 Things That Every Parent Must Teach Their Young Driver.” He has been featured on Network News shows from Florida to California, and is a regular guest Driving Expert on radio stations all over the U.S. and Canada.

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