Holiday Travel Expected to Be Heavier Than Previous Years
Michigan’s AAA annual forecast is reporting nearly 3.5 million people from across the state are expected to travel over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
AAA says Michigan will likely see a 3.4 percent increase from last year’s holiday period, projecting the highest total volume of people on the road since AAA began tracking such data in 2001. When more vehicles are on the road, accident risks also increase. Congested traffic can also make some drivers impatient and lose focus. This is the perfect time to remind Michigan drivers that even though our state scores in the top half of the country for being home to nice and courteous drivers, heavy holiday traffic dangers are real and if not prepared, can cause serious injury and roadway fatalities.
How To Be a Proactive Driver in Heavy Traffic
When you mix the holiday traffic with drivers who are not courteous or experienced, highways and interstates can easily become congested. If you know you will be headed into a heavy traffic scenario this holiday season, always remember that getting to your destination safely should be your number one priority. Review our tips for novice and experienced drivers alike and become more courteous and safe while traveling this season.
- Always use your turn signal before changing lanes.
- Avoid driving in the passing lane for too long. In a multi-lane road, highway or freeway, the left lane is the passing lane.
- Be smart. Always obey traffic laws, never drink alcohol or use drugs, and always wear a safety belt. Make sure all passengers are appropriately buckled up including children who should be in the right size child seat.
- Do not use cruise control when passing a vehicle. When you pass another car, do so quickly and safely.
- Do not stop at the end of on-ramps; merge with the flow of traffic.
- Distractions kill. Just because you’re moving slower doesn’t make driving less dangerous. Texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, or reaching for items in the backseat will distract a driver. The average distraction like a text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. And remember, it is illegal to text and drive in Michigan!
- Following a traffic accident, if you are not seriously harmed and the damage is minor, move your vehicle to the side of a road. Once away from traffic, you can contact the police and insurance company, as well as exchange car insurance policy information with the other driver.
- Keep a safe distance. Tailgating greatly reduces your reaction time and increases the likelihood of a collision upon sudden stops.
- Stay cool and remember that the road was made for everyone. Aggressive and irresponsible driving will just create more danger. Keep yourself calm by listening to music you enjoy or an audiobook, and practice deep breathing.
- Turn off your high beams when you see oncoming traffic. Although a helpful feature when driving at night, these bright lights can also blind drivers traveling in the opposite direction or a driver ahead of you.
If you feel yourself getting anxious, angry, or impatient while driving, take a break by pulling off at the nearest exit. Once you get there, ask if someone else you are traveling with would like to drive or if alone, take a few deep breaths and refocus your energy on driving safe.
Heavy Traffic Can Cause Crashes
If you or someone you love was injured in a vehicle accident caused by another driver, you or your family may be entitled to compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call The Lee Steinberg Law Firm today for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Michigan auto accident attorneys: 1-800-LEE-FREE. Travel safe this season!