Safe Driving Tips for the Holiday Season

woman driving a blue car with presents in her passenger seat
woman driving a blue car with presents in her passenger seat

The holiday season is the most anticipated time of the year, bringing joy and warmth to everyone. However, with late-night parties, family gatherings, and rush-hour shopping, the holiday season can also be a dangerous time for drivers.


An alarming number of avoidable accidents occur during the holiday season, as highlighted by the National Safety Council. Tragically, these holiday periods tend to have a surge in car crashes, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities. Therefore, to keep you and your family safe this holiday season, we have compiled a list of safe driving tips for drivers in Texas.

Prepare Your Vehicle Before the Trip

Before setting off on a trip, ensure your vehicle is in good condition. Check the oil, brakes, lights, and tire pressure and make sure they’re all within acceptable limits. It is also helpful to carry a spare tire, tire-changing tools, and a car emergency kit equipped with first aid supplies, blankets, a flashlight, and snacks in the event of an emergency.

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

Plan your travel routes ahead of time to avoid unfamiliar or potentially dangerous roads. Let someone else know which route you’ll be taking, and check for reported traffic congestion or closures ahead of time.

Be Wary of Winter Weather Conditions

Winter weather conditions can make driving particularly hazardous, especially in Texas, where drivers may not be used to snow or ice. Constantly monitor weather forecasts before venturing out, and be prepared for sudden changes. If the roads are icy or visibility is poor, consider delaying your journey until conditions improve.

However, if driving in adverse weather conditions is unavoidable, remember to move slowly and increase your following distance to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Never Drink and Drive

During the holiday season, drinking and driving cause a significant number of accidents. It’s important to avoid drinking and driving to ensure everyone’s safety on the road. Remember that even one drink can impair your driving ability, so it is better to designate a driver beforehand or use a ride-sharing app, such as Uber or Lyft, rather than get behind the wheel.

Get Proper Rest Before Driving

Fatigue and drowsiness have a significant impact on your ability to drive safely. Long holiday journeys combined with the emotional excitement of the season can lead to unexpected tiredness. 


To combat this:

  • Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before embarking on a trip.
  • Avoid starting a long drive at the end of a workday when you are already tired.
  • Break up long trips with rest stops every two hours or so, allowing you to stretch, get some fresh air, and, if needed, take a short nap.

Do Not Drive While Distracted

The holiday season’s festive mood can be a fun-filled time, but it can also lead to distracted driving. Keep mobile devices out of your hands while driving, even if it’s just a quick reply to a text message. It is best also to avoid eating or applying makeup while operating a moving vehicle, as these activities can be quite distracting and increase the risk of an accident.

Always Wear Your Seatbelt

Wearing a seatbelt is the most crucial safety mechanism while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 50% of passengers killed in a car accident in 2021 were not wearing seatbelts. So make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt, including you, before starting the engine. And remember, click it or ticket!

Be Prepared for Increased Holiday Traffic

During the holiday season, roads and highways experience a significant increase in traffic due to the large number of people traveling to spend time with family and friends or simply taking advantage of the vacation period to go on trips. To navigate safely through the holiday traffic, it’s important to stay calm and patient, keeping a safe distance from other vehicles and strictly adhering to speed limits. If possible, try to schedule your travels during off-peak hours to avoid the heaviest traffic. 

Adopt Defensive Driving Techniques

Defensive driving is a proactive approach to operating a vehicle, where a driver anticipates potential hazards and takes necessary precautions to avoid them. This skill is especially beneficial during the busy holiday season when traffic is heavier, and drivers are more likely to be distracted.

Here are some defensive driving techniques that can help keep you safe on the road during the holidays:

  • Stay Focused: Always keep your attention on the road and avoid distractions.
  • Anticipate Other Drivers’ Actions: Don’t just focus on your own driving; be aware of other drivers around you. Anticipate their actions and always be ready to react if necessary. This could mean slowing down if someone cuts in front of you or being prepared to stop suddenly if a pedestrian steps onto the road.
  • Maintain a Safe Following Distance: Keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you allows you more time to react if the driver ahead suddenly stops or turns. The minimum recommended following distance under ideal driving conditions, according to the National Safety Council, is at least three seconds.
  • Observe and Obey Traffic Rules: Always adhere to traffic laws, signs, and signals. Speeding, running red lights, or ignoring stop signs can lead to dangerous situations.
  • Stay Calm and Patient: Regardless of how others behave on the road, staying calm and patient is crucial. Aggressive driving and road rage can lead to unnecessary risks and accidents.


With careful planning, preparation, and following these safe driving tips, you can ensure your holiday journey is a safe and memorable one. Remember, your and your passenger’s safety is your responsibility, so please do not let the holiday spirit overwhelm your driving. Stay safe on the road, and have a happy holiday season!