The official holiday travel season for Christmas and New Year’s has just began for 2013. (AAA starts tracking holiday traffic on December 21 and continues through to the New Year.)
With the severe weather that Illinois and Indiana have been experiencing this month, the importance of taking precautions and being aware of the particular dangers of road travel this holiday season is very important. (For details on safety tips in dealing with this winter weather, see our post from earlier this month.)
AAA Predicts High Volume of Traffic on U.S. Roads This Holiday Season – Many Are Choosing to Drive Rather than Fly
According to AAA, almost all holiday travelers (91%) – totaling around 85,800,000 people will be taking holiday trips by driving US roads this year. More people are choosing to drive than to fly in 2013 than last year, which means it’s likely that you or someone you know and love will be driving behind the wheel in holiday travel this week or next.
From their offices in Itasca, Illinois, the National Safety Council has reported that its researchers are predicting 105 traffic fatalities and 11,200 serious personal injuries in car accidents just during the time period of six o’clock on the evening today, Christmas Eve, though noon tomorrow, Christmas Day. The NSC research team forecasts another 156 traffic deaths and 16,700 serious injuries in traffic accidents next week in celebration of the New Year from 6:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve through noon on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2014.
Buckle Those Safety Belts – Even On Short Trips – It’s Safer For You and Your Passengers
Of course, there is a big drive to discourage drinking and driving this year — the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is in effect from December 13 to January 1, 2014. However, another big warning goes out to everyone on our holiday road trips to make sure everyone buckles up.
According to the NSC, wearing a safety belt in a car crash increases your chances of surviving by 45%. From the NSC:
- Wear your safety belt every trip, every time – even when traveling a short distance
- Model this safe behavior, especially in front of children
- Ensure everyone is safely buckled up before you drive
- Place children in age-appropriate safety seats