Hitting the road this holiday season? Whether you’re embarking on a cross-country road trip or simply driving across town, it’s important to stay safe. Winter driving can be dangerous enough already. The hustle and bustle of the holidays – with people racing to their destinations, excited kids in the backseat and heavy loads in tow – makes for even more tumultuous conditions.

Make this holiday season a safe one by following these three tips.

1. Pay attention

It’s not just the most wonderful time of the year; it’s also one of the busiest. Your brain might be racing a million miles per hour planning out the holiday menu, trying to come up with that perfect gift idea or scrambling to make last-minute preparations.

When you’re behind the wheel, it might feel like your mind is elsewhere. The same is likely true for others around you. This makes for a dangerous mix. It’s more important now than ever to put away distractions and keep your attention on the road. Everything else can wait.

2. Keep an eye out for drunk drivers

Holiday festivities often involve alcohol. Unfortunately, that means higher rates of intoxicated drivers on the road, especially after dark. Watch for warning signs such as:

  • Swerving
  • Drifting across lanes
  • Speeding
  • Cutting others off

Call 911 if you witness suspicious or erratic driving behavior. And if you can help it, don’t drive during the wee hours of New Year’s Day, when drunk drivers are more likely to be out.

3. Watch the weather

Inclement weather played a role in more than 1.2 million traffic accidents across Colorado over the past decade. It’s not just snow and sleet that are culprits; rain and fog, too, can make driving conditions miserable. Before you head out the door, check the forecast. Be prepared to adjust your route and timing if necessary. Better to arrive late (or just stay home) than end up spending your holidays in the hospital.

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