How to Avoid Unsafe Driving during the Holiday Season

The winter season is a time for food, family and quite a bit of fun. However, in terms of motorist driving safety, it's one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. More accident claims are made against car insurance policies during the winter than during any other time of the year, and it's not too difficult to see why. Millions of drivers take to the road to visit relatives' houses during the holidays, resulting in packed roads all across the country. That would make the holiday season dangerous enough, but usually things are complicated by harsh winter weather. Snow can bring down visibility and get vehicles stuck, and ice can cause vehicles to lose traction.

Many drivers opt to avoid winter driving as much as possible, and this isn't a bad strategy. You can't get into an accident if you're not in your car, after all. To increase your chances of being able to stay off the road, go and stock up on groceries and other minor items that might put you out on the roads during a snowstorm or in other dangerous conditions. Try using public transportation if it's available. This helps to cut down on congestion, and it'll save your car insurance policy from taking a hit.

Sometimes, of course, it's a bit unreasonable to avoid driving entirely — depending on the area that you live, you might absolutely need to drive. This is especially true for rural motorists. In these cases, an ounce of prevention can go a long ways. Take your car in for check-up and maintenance before the winter weather makes driving hazardous. Have brake pads and tires checked. This could save you a hefty repair bill later on, and you'll decrease the risk of a vehicle-caused accident due to an unresponsive or malfunctioning vehicle. If you live in the country or around mountains, you might consider having snow tires put on your vehicle. While this is expensive, remember that you don't have to trade in your old tires. Keep them at home and then switch them out again when the weather gets warmer. Switching between tires can provide helpful extra traction, which will make driving a lot safer. Additionally, your car insurance might even drop a bit if you inform your insurer of these changes.

Keeping your vehicle maintained and staying off of the road when possible will make your holiday driving safer. But, don't forget the most important element: your own driving skills. Pay close attention when driving in the winter and even practice your ice and snow driving skills in an empty parking lot. Your car insurance bill will look much more festive as a result.

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