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Traveling this holiday? Choose your driving time wisely

The upcoming weeks are a busy time for a lot of people. They are out shopping, working extra hours, visiting family, and meeting up with friends.

All this traveling means that there will be more cars on the road. That increase in traffic combined with the potential for more drunk, distracted or otherwise dangerous drivers means that your risks of getting into a crash could be higher than you think. To avoid an accident, you may want to think carefully about when you get on the road.

Dangerous times to drive

Certain times of the day and week can be more dangerous than others. For instance, as this article notes, morning and afternoon rush hours will be far more congested around the holidays. In some places, traffic levels could quadruple on weekdays before Christmas.

Late at night can also be a dangerous time to be on the road. Around the holidays, drinking and driving can be more common. And despite law enforcement efforts to ramp up drunk driving arrests, people still make the decision to drive home from the bar or a party when they have had too much to drink.

Think, too, about where you are driving. Churches and other religious buildings could be very crowded, as could airports, malls and downtown areas. You are likely to encounter high numbers of pedestrians, children and distracted people. 

Decisions that could keep you safe

To stay safe, choose your travel time wisely. Instead of driving during rush hour, head out especially early in the morning. Instead of driving home late at night, consider staying at a friend or family member's house. 

You should also be mindful of your own driving behaviors. Do not drive if you have been drinking. Pull over if you need to make a call or look up directions. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination so you are not rushed.

And if you are going to be on the road for a long time, schedule stops to ensure you are not drowsy.

While you may not be able to avoid every dangerous driver on the road this holiday, these tips can reduce your risks of getting injured in a serious crash.

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