Drivers in the upper Midwest understand the hazards that come with the changing of the seasons. From violent rainstorms and leaf-covered roads in autumn to icy roads and snow-covered commutes home in the winter, drivers in Minnesota can face adversity while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the holiday season often sees an increase in challenges to driver safety.
While the holiday season means different things to different people, it is commonly identified as the time of year starting with Thanksgiving and ending with New Year’s Day. It is a time for celebration, getting together with friends and family, and relaxing as the year comes to a close. A combination of numerous factors, however, can make city streets, county roads, highways and freeways a dangerous place to be:
- Environmental factors: As mentioned above, winter weather is often commonplace throughout the holiday season. Snow, ice and blowing wind can all make for a deadly trip. Combine that with the dramatic reduction in daylight hours, and drivers often have to operate their vehicles in treacherous conditions.
- More traffic: Drivers often face roads that are more crowded during the holiday season. This is often due to increased shopping, out-of-town visitors, 18-wheelers moving goods to retailers and increased consumer deliveries from services such as FedEx, UPS and Amazon. All these additional vehicles make for congested paths no matter the reason for your travel.
- Impaired driving: Whether it is drivers who get behind the wheel after drinking at a party, drivers who have taken strong medication due to a cold or flu, or drivers who are burning the midnight oil due to work or family visits, the holiday season often sees the roadways overtaken with drivers who are impaired, struggling with perceptive challenges, or overly tired.
Depending on numerous factors, motor vehicle collisions can result in catastrophic injuries. Vehicle occupants can suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, crush injuries or amputation. Severe crashes can result in fatality. During the holidays and throughout the winter months, it is crucial that Minnesota drivers remain aware of the challenges they face due to poor weather and the poor drivers they’re sharing the road.