Poor driving habits happen on the road all year long. However, they can be especially dangerous during the holiday season when an increase in traffic and environmental factors are thrown into the mix.
Shorter days and longer periods of driving in the dark can result in limited visibility for many Chicago-area drivers. On average, drivers can only see up to 250 feet in front of them while driving at night. That visibility range increases to 500 feet with the use of high beams. This leaves less time to take evasive measures to prevent an accident.
Additionally, nighttime driving increases the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. That’s because the lack of sunlight affects drivers’ circadian rhythms, the body’s natural clock that programs us to be alert or tired.
These factors coupled with dangerous driving habits creates a recipe for disaster on Chicago roadways.
Dangerous driving habits
According to EHS Today, there are four common hazards you may face when driving during the holiday season. They include:
- Distracted driving: During this time of year, many drivers multitask while behind the wheel. They may be talking or texting on their cell phones or browsing the Internet to check store hours.
- Impaired driving: With the increase in parties and celebrations, the holidays also bring an upsurge of drunk and drug-impaired drivers. Unfortunately, many of them slip under the radar of law enforcement.
- Pressured driving: The holidays are a stressful time for many people. With too much to do within a short amount of time, some drivers may exceed the speed limit or drive aggressively.
- Fatigued driving: During the holidays, many people have tighter schedules, which could result in less sleep. A study conducted by AAA suggests that drivers who received less than five hours of sleep were four to five times more likely to cause a crash than those who received adequate rest. Alcohol and drug use can also contribute to fatigued driving.
What to do if you’re injured in a crash this holiday season
If you are hurt in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior, don’t panic. Simply call the police and exchange insurance information with the other parties involved.
Even if your crash was minor, it’s crucial that you seek medical attention. You may feel fine immediately after, but could discover an injury days later. The attorneys at Coplan + Crane are experienced at handling auto accident claims like yours. We’ll take care of the rest.
Contact us today to schedule a free, confidential case evaluation.