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Holiday Stress Can Mean More Car Accidents

It’s no secret that the holidays mean more stress. As the holidays approach, many of us are working longer hours to keep up with increased demand during the holidays. In addition, there are parties to attend, family functions to plan, gifts to buy, cards to send, and homes to decorate. There are also more people on the roads, creating traffic that just feeds our stress. Extra stress can mean mistakes while driving and that can lead to car accidents and serious personal injuries. Stay safe this holiday season, wherever you have to drive, with these tips:

1) Keep stress levels at bay. Emotions can be a major distraction while driving. If you are worried or angry, you are probably thinking about the situation that is upsetting you and not about your driving. If you feel lots of stress, you may be prone to road rage or driving aggressively. Avoid driving when you are upset. Set aside some time in your schedule to relax. Even fifteen minutes a day relaxing and resting can help you feel calmer and more able to focus.

2) Organize your schedule. If you are disorganized, you may be tempted to rush from one errand to the next, and you may be tempted to speed in order to get your schedule under control. A much better strategy to prevent car accidents and personal injury is to organize your schedule before you step into your car. List all the things you need to do and want to do. Group activities by location and try to do related activities together. For example, you might be able to pick up decorations, cards, gifts, and stamps in one shopping trip to the mall, saving you lots of extra driving. Look for ways to organize your schedule be leveraging. Many businesses, for example, offer delivery services at this time of year and may be able to bring your tree, groceries, and other needs to you. This can save you plenty of time and can result in a far less stressful holiday.

3) Get plenty of rest. Rest and sleep are vital during the holidays, but they are often the first things we cut from our schedules. Get at least eight hours of sleep a day and try to maintain regular sleeping habits. Driver fatigue is a major cause of car accidents, bus accidents, and trucking accidents. All drivers can make the roads safer by staying alert and well-rested.

4) Do not drink and drive. Unfortunately, when we are stressed out, holiday drinks seem far more appealing. Avoid drinking to excess because you are stressed and keep a bit of extra money in your wallet at all times for a taxi in case you do indulge.

5) Do not multitask. When there is so much to do, it is tempting to try to do more than one thing at a time. It is tempting to make a quick phone call to the babysitter as you drive home or send a quick text message while driving around, but any distraction while driving can cause a serious accident. Wait until you are parked or pulled over on the side of the road to use mobile devices. When driving, focus on driving only.

6) Wear your seat belt. Keep in mind that other drivers are experiencing holiday stress as well. Even if you are being careful yourself, other drivers may be taking needless risks. For this reason, it is vital to always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to prevent spinal cord injuries and brain injuries in the event of a car accident. Seat belts can also save your life, so buckle up.