Holiday Driving – Be Safe, Be Aware
At AAMCO Minnesota we believe in safety – safe cars and good drivers make for safer roads for all of us. We take great care to keep you informed about your car and all its systems, as well as keep your car on the road with scheduled maintenance services and repairs, including full transmission repairs and rebuilds.
Holidays are full of fun and good times with family and friends, but they also come with added dangers. Every year the number of drivers on American roads increases – and that number peaks during the holiday season. Many people hit the roads to visit loved ones, go shopping, head out for parties and festivities. It’s the busiest time of year for travel, and can be fraught with danger if you don’t take extra care.
There are about 70 million shoppers out and about on Black Friday, looking for bargains, speeding from store to store, sale to sale, all looking to beat each other to the next best deal. All of those cars on the roads, combined with aggressive and/or distracted driving, lead to a rise in accidents. Along with the crowds on the roads, there are often too few parking spaces at the malls and stores, which leads to a record number of parking lot accidents and other incidents. Use caution, be courteous and patient. You will be happier for it as you arrive home at the end of the day with those great bargains you got, accident-free.
Thanksgiving ranks as one of the busiest travel times of the year. As Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday, most travelers head out on Wednesday, which makes it the busiest travel day of the Thanksgiving holiday, if not the year.
Thanksgiving is also a driving holiday, which makes it extra dangerous. Some drivers are distracted. Some are drunk, drowsy, or both. This all leads to more accidents. You can keep yourself and loved ones safe by not engaging in dangerous behavior yourself and exercising extra caution everywhere you go. Put away the cell phone while you’re driving, pay attention to the road and conditions around you, and do not drink and drive. Arrive alive and be thankful.
Christmas tends to be stressful in many ways, and that leads to accidents. Collision claims increase by about 20 percent in December. Holiday stress combined with busy roads can lead to more aggressive driving. Drivers are more likely to show signs of aggression or road rage during the holidays. Despite the fact that the holidays are supposed to be times of cheer and good will, many people are stressed and easily forget what it’s all about. You can help yourself and others by simply being kind and slowing down.
Along with the good times come deadlines, stress, and the need to be places. People have to go shopping for everything from gifts and groceries, to clothes and outfits for holiday parties and get togethers. In today’s world of always on and go-go-go, we are pressed for time.
The holidays can add an extra level of stress. It’s easy feel like we’re running behind or are late for everything, which increases the feeling that we need to rush everywhere – and this mindset translates to our driving. Many drivers already tend to speed, which is dangerous. Add to that people’s level of distraction – talking, texting, and generally not paying attention to the most important task at hand – driving. As you speed down the highway or even just through a parking lot, you need to realize how much danger you are creating for yourself and others. Pay attention. Slow down.
Think about the good people and things in life. Take the opportunity as you sit stuck in traffic to think about the real reasons you do what you do during the holidays – and even every day. Rushing in a rage doesn’t help anyone and won’t get you anywhere any faster. It might even end in you not getting anywhere at all. It’s important to remember what the holidays truly mean, and be thankful that we have these opportunities to celebrate these special times.
AAMCO Minnesota wishes you safe and happy holiday travels. Call or schedule an appointment online for your transmission repair and total car care needs.