December 27th, 2017
When you read the above title, you might have thought this article was going to focus on drunk driving. While that is a very real concern—and one we'll cover—there are other factors to consider too. Here are four tips for staying safe on the road this New Year's Eve and Day.
By the way, the beginning of a new year is a great time to compare auto insurance coverage and rates. This will take you into the new year with the best possible plan so you can drive confidently.
Prep Your Vehicle
We're talking a winter holiday here in the Northern Hemisphere, which can mean snow, ice, and rain. Hopefully, you prepared your car for winter driving during autumn. But if you didn't, make sure your car is suitably prepared to handle the conditions before undertaking a long drive. Tires should be in good condition, properly inflated with lots of tread. Antifreeze level should be optimal, and your wiper blades and lighting systems should be in prime condition as well.
Respect Driving Conditions
Even if you own the latest and greatest all-wheel-drive vehicle, you'll still need to allow a margin of error. Reduce your speeds. Brake sooner. Drive an extra car length behind cars ahead of you. Know that the naked eye can't always detect icy patches and drive accordingly. Visibility decreases when you're driving in snow and rain, so slow down! When people love you, they'll wait. You won't miss anything, but they will miss you if you don't arrive.
Attend parties with a group of friends rather than going solo. This gives you the ability to be a designated driver, or be with one. Surrender your car keys to the host when you arrive so they can judge your soberness when you try to depart. Make plans to sleep over or at a nearby hotel so you won't feel the need to drive home "buzzed." After all, buzzed driving is drunk driving, no matter how you look at it. If your designated driver has a drink or two, seek alternative transportation for the group. Many taxi companies offer complimentary rides home on New Year's Eve. You can also "gift" Lyft and Uber rides to friends who shouldn't drive. And, of course, you should take advantage of rideshares yourself.
Watch Out for Drunk Drivers
Drunk drivers have a few "tells," such as weaving, tailgating, and straddling the centerline. Other indications include driving on the wrong side of the road, passing other cars narrowly, and stopping at green lights. If you see any of these behaviors, call 911 and report the car. License number, color, make, model and location are all you need to provide. Under no circumstances should you try to stop them yourself. However, you can follow them at a safe distance in case they crash, then call emergency services. Just make sure you keep a lot of space between you.
These four tips for staying safe on the road this New Year's Eve and Day have the potential to save both lives and money. Speaking of the latter, take the time to compare auto insurance quotes with CoverHound before the new year. Find affordable coverage for your situation today!