• Tom Girardi

Holiday season driving in California: Are you ready?

Before you know it, the holiday season will be in full swing. As it turns out, some of the deadliest days on the road are coming with it. People will be out traveling to see friends and family and only increasing the amount of traffic Southern California's roads see on a daily basis.

Drunk driving tends to increase during the holiday season as well, and it all starts with Thanksgiving. Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put out a travel advisory letting people know to increase their awareness on the roads and not to drive drunk. They also offered some advice that will probably serve more as a reminder for you and others.

Refreshing your memory for safe holiday travel

According to the NHTSA, approximately 528 people lost their lives on the roads during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In an attempt to lower those numbers, the agency offered the following advice to motorists:

  • If you travel with children, make sure they are properly secured in their child seats that are appropriate for their weights and ages.

  • Tie down those Christmas gifts, so they don't fly around in the car in the event of an accident or sudden stop.

  • Resist the urge to drive over the speed limit or too fast for road conditions -- no matter how late you are for that pumpkin pie.

  • Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained before you leave grandma's house. Seat belts may not prevent serious injuries, but they can prevent deaths.

  • Distracted driving is an epidemic in this country. Make sure you focus only on driving while behind the wheel. Tip: Set the mapping system before you pull away from the curb.

  • Don't drink and drive. Holiday parties, family gatherings and other celebrations often involve alcohol. If you do drink, call a cab or Uber, stay at the host's house or use a designated driver even if it's that cousin you don't really like.

It may seem unnecessary to remind drivers to follow these tips, but considering the number of people who died in just one holiday weekend, they may be necessary after all. More than likely, you already know that you need to be at your best as you drive during the holidays. Please, make it a safe Thanksgiving and holiday season for you and your family.