Tips for Safe Holiday Driving

Motorists navigate a city street in white out conditions.Many people drive to visit loved ones during the holiday season, making it important for them to exercise caution on the road.

Several potential hazards, such as weather conditions and drunk, rushed, or inattentive drivers, can make travel during this part of the year more dangerous. Some ways that you can manage these hazards and make the roads safer for everyone include:

Having a designated driver: Alcohol consumption (sometimes in large amounts) is common at many holiday gatherings, so it’s essential that everyone who plans to return home by car have a designated driver. Ideally, this person should drink as little as possible during the gathering.  If they choose to drink, some rough estimates for how long they should wait before driving include:

  • 1 hour for each shot of liquor
  • 2 hours for each pint of beer
  • 3 hours for each glass of wine

Remember: if you or your designated driver are too drunk to drive and no one else is available to get you home, you can (and should) use a car service such as Uber to return safely.

Sticking to the speed limit: If you’re stressed about arriving at your destination on time, it can be easy to rush and start driving faster than you should be without realizing it. This increases your risk of getting into an accident and makes the road more dangerous for other drivers around you, as well as anyone traveling in the car with you. Pay attention to how fast you’re driving and stay close to the speed limit.

Check weather conditions before driving: The cold weather that occurs during the holiday season can cause a variety of problems with your car, including icy roads, poorer visibility (if it’s snowing), dying car batteries, and thicker oil that struggles to circulate throughout your car. While you can’t always avoid these issues, it’s still important to be aware of how likely they might be, allowing you to better prepare for (and more easily manage) them if they occur.

If you or any of your passengers are injured due to a car accident, make sure to call 911 right away. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center treats a high volume of motor vehicle collision injuries in New York City each day. To learn more, please call (718) 206-6000.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.