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Traverse City Mi 49686
Garfield Auto Service Center
725 S Garfield Ave
Traverse City Mi 49686
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Holiday Driving Hazards

December 1, 2020, 12:00 am

The holiday season is here, and that means many of us are spending more time behind the wheel to shop, visits, and get those halls decked. Here are a few reminders to drive safely during the holidays! 

December is a magical time for families. The holidays offer so much joy and excitement, things that are more important than ever in the days of COVID-19. This year, there are new challenges to hitting the road safely in addition to the normal holiday driving hazards. Before you load up your sleigh, take a second to check your list twice on some things to remember. 

With the current pandemic continuing to spread in the United States, federal, state, and local guidelines are advising families to stay home this season. If you do choose to travel to see friends and loved ones, it’s important to take the recommended guidelines seriously. 

There are several factors that may influence your decision to gather together. First, take the local community spread into consideration. The more prevalent COVID-19 may be at home or where you’re traveling could increase your risk of contracting the virus, but you may also be contributing to transporting the virus to a place it may otherwise be less widespread. 

Indoor gatherings are especially risky, so gathering for outdoor events or activities does help to mitigate your risk. Perhaps more importantly, understanding the risk to the elderly or those with underlying conditions should also be a top priority informing your decision to travel during the holidays. 

Before you leave home, consider quarantining for up to two weeks before your gathering, and encourage others attending to do the same. It may also be wise to get a test in the week or two preceding the event to make sure you aren’t positive and contagious before hitting the road. 

Once on the move, many of the same hazards of holiday travel persist. It isn’t just bad weather, either. Holiday driving offers additional factors that may lead to more accidents. 

Driving Distracted. Holidays are busy, and whether you’re looking for directions, check store hours while shopping, or comparing prices online and in the store, it’s easy to get in a bad habit of looking at your phone while driving. It’s safer to make a plan and map out your travel before you head out and consider doing your research from the safety of home, not on the road. 

Drunk Driving. While there may be fewer work and family parties this year, there’s still an elevated risk of drunk drivers on the road, and becoming one yourself. Before every party, designate someone in your car to be the designated driver. If it helps, take turns based on the event, and make sure you also have a back-up plan. Consider finding a taxi company or downloading a rideshare app like Lyft before the night starts so that you have an option ready in case plans change. 

Fatigued Driving. Growing up, we’d drive nearly three hours south to spend a day with family during the holidays, only to turn around later the same day. A three-hour drive might not seem too tough, but done in a single day and on either end of a busy, fun day with family, we were always tired. As much as possible reduce the risk of having to drive especially early or late at night, and consider making accommodations to stay longer or find a hotel. Tired drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers, and the holidays are certainly a tiring time of year. 

No matter how you choose to celebrate the holidays this year, we hope you’ll be safe, smart, and have a wonderful time!


Posted by Garfield Auto at 12:00 am
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