Between the increased traffic and the potentially poor weather conditions, the holiday season can be dangerous for drivers. The pressure to multitask this time of year and the time constraints of a busy schedule may lead to speeding and other unsafe driving practices. 

Keep these safety tips in mind to protect yourself from an auto accident injury this winter. 

Avoid driving distractions 

Distracted driving is dangerous at any time of year. However, drivers who become overwhelmed with holiday tasks are more likely to text, make phone calls and search for information like store hours, coupons and locations when behind the wheel. Resist the temptation to take on your to-do list, even when stuck in a seemingly insurmountable traffic jam. 

Know when to go 

Certain days see dramatically increased traffic volume, which naturally increases the likelihood of auto accidents. If at all possible, stay off the road on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, the two most popular driving days of the year. Shopping destinations are usually mobbed on Black Friday and on Christmas Eve and December 23. Plan ahead to schedule your gift-buying trips when the mall will be less crowded or do your shopping online. Consider hosting the holiday meal rather than traveling to a distant family member’s home. 

Stick to soda 

When you head to a holiday party where the hosts will serve alcohol, have a game plan to stay sober if you plan to drive. When you do imbibe, get a ride from a designated driver who did not drink, stay the night at the party if possible or call a cab or a ride-sharing service such as Lyft or Uber. 

Get enough sleep 

A busy holiday schedule can impact your ability to get enough sleep each night (at least eight hours). The resulting fatigue causes significant driving danger. 

With these four strategies, you can successfully lower your risk for an auto accident injury this holiday season. In addition, safe driving practices protect you and other drivers whenever you are on the road.