Meliha Perez Halpern is now Senior Counsel at ChasenBoscolo

Baby It’s Cold Outside… So Make Sure to Avoid These 3 Hazards During the Holidays

The holidays are meant to be a time of peace on earth and goodwill towards others, which is why we don’t even like using the words “hurt” and “holidays” in the same sentence. However, this can be a dangerous time for many of us, especially on the roads.

If you’re driving anywhere, even if it’s just a quick trip to the Corner Bakery Cafe to pick up the office party catering, you’re sharing the road with one of the thousands of holiday travelers out and about in Maryland. With more vehicles out and about, the risk of a collision goes up, especially when so many drivers are fatigued, hurrying to get somewhere, or even impaired. It also doesn’t help that weather conditions aren’t the greatest, leaving the roads covered in ice and snow.

Wherever you’re going, we want you and your passengers to get there safe, so here are some tips for avoiding the holiday travel hazards.

Full of Christmas Spirits

When you enjoy a little too much eggnog at a holiday gathering, don’t get behind the wheel. At the very least, you can get stopped by the police and charged with a DUI if you blow over the legal limit. Even if you’re not stopped, you run the risk of causing a serious collision that results in injury to yourself, your passengers, and other drivers or pedestrians.

We recommend these safer alternatives:

  • Traveling with a designated driver
  • Calling a taxi, Uber, or Lyft
  • Using the Metro if you’re not too impaired

Instead of buying a succession of candy cane martinis during a holiday get-together at your favorite bar, why not treat yourself to that amazing dress you saw at Luna? You’re worth it!

Look Both Ways

You don’t have to be driving to be at risk on the roads. Whether you’re walking through the Bethesda Row parking lot or strolling along a suburban street to a holiday gathering at a friend’s house, you could be injured by a driver who’s impaired, distracted, or lost control of their vehicle due to icy road conditions. Use these tips to stay alert and stay safe:

  • Look both ways (and then look again!) before crossing a street, even if the light has given you the go-ahead
  • Use sidewalks or designated walkways to avoid traffic
  • Do not wear headphones, use your phone, or compromise your attention in any way while crossing the street

While we’re on the subject of pedestrian safety, we want to stress that walking home intoxicated is not a safe alternative to impaired driving. You may not be behind a wheel, but your judgment and motor skills are still affected, putting you at risk for a slip and fall injury.

Truck Hazards

With the holidays fast approaching, there are going to be more big trucks on the roads and highways of Maryland, Virginia, and the Metro D.C. area delivering food, decorations, and those gifts you ordered on Amazon. A surplus of commercial trucks and tractor-trailers—combined with the millions of motorists traveling to visit family and friends—can be a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful.

Here are some safety tips courtesy of the American Trucking Association:

  • Wear a seat belt, which can reduce the chance of a fatal injury by 45%.
  • Pay careful attention to the truck’s blind spots. Remember that if you can’t see the driver in the mirror, they can’t see you either.
  • Keep enough distance between yourself and the truck to have room to safely stop if traffic slows or suddenly halts.
  • Don’t cut trucks off, as the driver may not be able to stop in time to avoid a crash.

All of us at at the law office of Pérez Halpern LLC wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. If your celebrations are suddenly impacted by the dangerous and negligent actions of a motorist or truck driver on the roads of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., call us immediately. We will take action to protect your rights and get you the compensation you are entitled to. To schedule a consultation, contact us today!

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