While fall is just starting, people all over the country already have begun planning their holiday travel. Whether they’re journeying just a few miles or across state lines to visit family, traffic often picks up around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. As such, employers may want to be aware of the potential impact holiday traveling can have on employees who commute daily, as well as truck drivers and other workers who are behind the wheel frequently.
3 safe driving tips
The vast majority – or 91% – of long-distance holiday travel is done by car, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA). More people on the road can cause traffic delays, and the holiday season brings with it several potential road hazards that drivers can learn to recognize and steer clear of. Here are three tips for safe driving before, during and after the holidays:
- Be aware of distracted driving: EHS Today explains that people may be more likely to use their cellphones while behind the wheel during the holiday season. They may be calling or texting family members or friends, looking up directions or even seeking music to listen to. In addition, especially for people who travel long distances during the holidays, being in the driver’s seat for long periods of time can be tiring, which can impair people’s alertness. EHS Today also states that drunk driving and stress can be serious road hazards.
- Plan ahead and rest often: On long-distance journeys, employers may want to encourage planned stops along the way to the final destination. This givers drivers and an opportunity to rest, regain energy and stretch their legs. Drivers may want to incorporate planned rest times times into their itineraries to maintain their focus and avoid running late.
- Research road conditions: In addition to checking traffic reports before leaving, drivers may want to look up road conditions. Severe weather and construction can greatly affect road conditions, meaning that commuters and professional drivers may come across unforeseen slowdowns or detours.
In addition to taking these precautions, it may be worthwhile to check the Arizona Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) website for more information about traffic conditions and tips for staying safe, especially as the holidays approach.