Planning to travel this holiday season? You’re not the only one – it looks like it’s going to be a record-breaking season for holiday travelers.
According to a study held by AAA, the number of travelers this holiday season (December 23rd – January 3rd) may top 100 million for the first time. That’s one in 3 Americans, if you’re keeping count. Here are some other stats that might make this holiday season the craziest one yet:
- 100.5 million are expected to travel 50 miles or more from their home.
- This is a 1% increase over the last year, and the seventh-consecutive year of increasing holiday travel.
- More than 90% of travelers will be driving to their destinations. That equals out to about 91.3 million people on the road.
That last statistic may be the most important one. With so many people on the road this holiday season, it’s vital to remain vigilant as ever to maintain proper driver safety on the roads. We’ve harped on this point many a time in posts previously, but repetition is the key to mastering safe driving principles – and practice makes perfect.
Here are some quick tips to help you out, along with links to past posts expanding on these tidbits:
Prepare for Inclement Weather
By the holidays, snow should be hitting much of the United States – and that may pose a problem for travelers who’ve never driven in a winter wonderland for the first time. Prep your vehicle for the possibility of snow – check your tires, pack a winter kit, and remain cautious.
Winter Means Longer Nights
The end of daylight savings was a little over a month ago, but some of you still may not have adjusted to early sunsets and longer nights, especially on the road. Night driving is tough in itself, but also comes with a cornucopia of other issues, including:
These may be amplified with long hours on the road – and doubly so if you have sleepy, potentially distracting passengers in your car as well. If these are unavoidable, it’s best to forgo night driving altogether and plan your traveling accordingly.
Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving
There’s no spin here – alcohol and driving don’t mix. If you’ve had any alcohol at any point, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel – chances are if you say you’re good to go, you probably aren’t.
Be Nice – Not Naughty
Long hours on the road stuck in traffic in a car full of passengers can be the quintessential stress-inducing situation. But don’t give in to anger and hate – it’s a time for kindness, after all, and being courteous to your fellow travelers can go a long way into making these holidays a little more special.
Even if this holiday season doesn’t smash records, these tips can still go a long way to preserve your sanity – and your safety behind the wheel.