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Avoid holiday crashes with these 3 tips

With the holidays approaching, it can be hard to get where you want to go without running into heavy traffic. Between people shopping for Christmas and individuals rushing to get from place to place, there's a real risk of a crash happening.

Most people know that holiday traffic can be frustrating. There are generally delays, and what might normally be a short trip could end up taking much longer. Fortunately, there are some ways to reduce the chances of getting involved into a crash as a result of the increased traffic during the season.

1. Plan for extra travel time

The first thing to remember is that you may need more travel time than you think to get where you want to go. If you have to be somewhere at a certain time, give yourself twice as long as you expect you need to get there to account for heavy traffic.

Giving yourself extra time also means that you'll be less likely to want to speed or to get angry at other drivers. You'll be more patient, and that means that you can help avoid serious collisions by more carefully monitoring what's going on around you.

2. Get your car maintenance done early

Another important thing to do is to make sure your vehicle is properly maintained. You should always take your vehicle in for maintenance prior to major journeys, so that you know your brakes, fluids and other aspects of your vehicle are in good shape.

If you don't get your car maintenance done, there will be a higher chance of having a breakdown and having to wait for someone to tow you at the height of the holiday season. That's a pricey lesson to learn, so try to do basic maintenance before you leave home.

3. Avoid drinking and driving

Once you get to see friends and family, there may be a pull to drink and have a celebration with them. It's important to avoid drinking and driving. You should always have a designated driver if you plan to drink, because the last thing anyone wants is to see a major accident during the holiday season.

If you can't find someone sober who can drive, remember that there are ride share services that you can call whenever you need a ride. They might be expensive due to holiday rates, but they're worth the expense to avoid a crash.

These are three things you can do to avoid a holiday collision. Be careful out there, so you can enjoy the holidays.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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