This Thanksgiving Day, three individuals lost their lives in three separate crashes that occurred in South Los Angeles. In each instance, speed and/or inebriation played a role in these losses of life. As a result of these circumstances, loved ones all over Southern California are now in mourning for those who didn’t survive.
While crashes at the holidays are all too common, they are also – like those on Thanksgiving Day in South Los Angeles – largely preventable. As an experienced auto accident lawyer – including those who practice at Barry P. Goldberg – can confirm, by being proactive, driving defensively, and making sound choices, you can better ensure that you and your loved ones remain safer on the roads as the winter holiday season approaches in earnest.
Staying Safer During The Winter Holidays
Driving during the winter holidays in Southern California presents unique challenges. While the region is known for its generally mild winters, the holiday season often brings increased traffic, changing weather conditions, and a variety of other factors that can impact road safety. While you cannot eliminate the possibility that you will cross paths with a driver who is speeding or drunk, you can take a number of different steps to better ensure that you reach your destinations of choice safely at this time of year:
- Be Prepared for Changing Weather Conditions: Although Southern California is known for its sunny climate, winter can bring rain and occasionally fog. Rainy conditions can make roads slippery and reduce visibility. Ensure your vehicle is equipped with good-quality windshield wipers and that your tires have sufficient tread to handle wet roads.
- Watch Out for Heavy Traffic: The holiday season sees a significant increase in traffic, with many people traveling for family gatherings or holiday shopping. Be prepared for congested roads and allow extra time to reach your destination. Increased traffic also requires heightened awareness and patience.
- Avoid Distracted Driving: With the holiday rush, it’s easy to get distracted. However, distracted driving is a major cause of accidents. Avoid using your phone, eating, or engaging in any activity that takes your focus away from the road.
- Stay Sober and Alert: Holiday celebrations often involve alcohol. Never drink and drive. Plan ahead by designating a sober driver or using public transportation or ride-sharing services if you plan to consume alcohol.
- Manage Fatigue: Long drives and holiday activities can be exhausting. Ensure you’re well-rested before hitting the road. Take regular breaks on longer journeys to avoid fatigue.
- Plan Your Route: With possible holiday road closures and increased traffic, planning your route in advance can save time and avoid stress. Use GPS or traffic apps to stay informed about traffic conditions and road closures.
- Practice Defensive Driving: Be aware of the behavior of other drivers. Keep a safe distance, use your indicators, and be extra cautious at intersections.
Staying safe while driving during the winter holidays in Southern California requires preparation, awareness, and a commitment to safe driving practices. By anticipating and adapting to the unique challenges of the season, you can better ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday experience on the roads.