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What You Need to Know About Driving with Passengers This Holiday Season

As the end of the year draws closer, many find themselves filling up with excitement as they know some of the most enjoyable holidays are approaching. Not only is Christmas and New Year’s a time to spend with family and friends, but it is also a time when children are out of school and are able to enjoy some free time for themselves. With kids out on winter break and parents rushing around to get in their last-minute holiday preparations, it is important that everyone take a minute to reflect on the current dangers that lurk that could impose on your excitement and turn your holiday season upside down.

We are talking about the roadway and how dangerous it becomes during the holiday times.

During the holiday season, not only do drivers become more distracted, but many also get behind the wheel of their vehicle drunk. Did you know that in 2016, “781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related crashes in the month of December alone” [Source: US Department of Transportation]? That is why it is important that anytime you are out driving, you are aware and alert of what is going on around you. Now, because many teens choose to spend this free time they have out driving with friends and adults are out and running around with their younger children, it is easy for a motorist to get distracted. In fact, when you travel with a passenger, you actually increase your chances of engaging in a distracted driving accident, especially when it is with someone who doesn’t allow you to put your full attention on the road.

So, in an effort to keep you and your family safe, below we offer some valuable safety tips to implement when you are traveling with a passenger to help prevent you from getting distracted and potentially engage in an auto accident.

  1. If you are traveling with small children, KidsHealth.org says that you should remind them that they must “keep cool” in the backseat. They shouldn’t be jumping around, playing roughly, or yelling as this could interfere with your ability to concentrate on the road.
  1. Consider packing some educational activities for your kids to enjoy if you have a lot of stops to make. When the holidays are approaching, it is likely you will be visiting your local grocer a few times a week and perhaps have to make other stops to get your home ready for the holidays. This means you may have to bring your kids along with you and they sometimes can grow tired of making stop after stop. This can lead to them becoming disruptive in the car which can directly impact your ability to focus on driving. So, to help reduce the chances of this happening, bring along some things they can do in the car to entertain themselves so that you are able to pay attention to the road and won’t have to direct it away from it each time one of your children voices their complaint.

Now, if you have a teen driver who likes to travel with friends, remind them of the following safety tips before they venture out.

  1. If your teen is going to be driving, they need to refrain from engaging in conversation with their passengers so that they are able to put all of their attention on the road.
  2. Your teen driver should remind their friends to avoid engaging in any type of distracting or rowdy behavior while they are out and about.
  3. The music should be kept to a low volume.
  4. Teen drivers should never allow friends who influence them to engage in reckless behavior such as speeding, driving through stop signs, riding too close to the vehicle in front of them, etc. to get inside the vehicle with them.
  5. Your teen should never use their cell phone when behind the wheel and shouldn’t allow their friends to distract them with theirs either.

If you weren’t aware, “teens have the highest crash rate of any group in the U.S.,” according to the AAA Exchange, and the risk only heightens when they travel with passengers. In fact, when a teen travels with one passenger under the age of 21, their chances of engaging in a crash increases by 44% [Source: AAA Exchange]. And when they travel with two passengers, their chances double. What’s even more shocking is that when they travel with three passengers, it then quadruples their chances of getting into an accident.

So, rather than spend your holidays with regret because you allowed a passenger to interfere with your driving, simply implement these safety tips along with others you are aware of so that you reduce your chances of getting involved in an auto accident.

In the event you or your teen has already engaged in a car accident in Jackson, MS and you need to speak with a qualified and experienced MS accident lawyer, contact the attorneys at the Heilman Law Group, PA by calling 601-914-1025 to learn more. We are here to address any concerns you might have and help you to better understand what your rights are as an accident victim.


The Heilman Law Group, PA can be reached at:
42661 I-55 North, Suite 106
Jackson, MS 39211
601-914-1025

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  • Jackson Office
    4266 I-55 North
    Suite 106
    Jackson, Mississippi 39211
    Phone: 601-914-1025
    Fax: 601-960-4200
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