We at Brooks Law Group hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday season! As you celebrate this special time of year with your families, we hope that you will keep in mind the following safety tips while driving.

While here in Florida, we don’t have to worry about ice or snow on the roads, but if you are traveling outside of the state, driving in unfamiliar conditions can be hazardous. If you are venturing up north for the holidays, please keep in mind the following safety tips:

  1. Slow down. If you are driving on roads with ice or snow, you should never drive faster than 45 miles per hour – even on a highway. High speeds render vehicles difficult to control or stop should you hit an ice patch that causes your vehicle to slide. If you are driving on roads with more treacherous ice conditions, such as black ice, you should not drive faster than 10 miles per hour. Fishtailing on the ice at highway speeds is usually unrecoverable by even the most experienced drivers.
  2. Don’t drive on icy roads at all. If your holiday plans permit, simply avoid driving on icy roads, period. Wait until conditions improve before venturing out.
  3. If you do start fishtailing, first, reduce your speed. If you are in a high-speed fishtail incident, turn your wheels in the direction that the rear of your car is facing. Most high-speed fishtail can be difficult to recover from, but using your steering wheel effectively and reducing your speed can help. However, sliding wheels are uncontrollable, so steering input will not change the vehicle’s direction if the wheels are sliding.

For those of you staying in the good ‘ole Sunshine State, please remember the following holiday driving safety tips:

  1. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Do Not Drink and Drive. Period. End of story.
  2. Although it’s tempting—especially when trying to coordinate plans with loved ones and friends—please do not text or engage in social media and drive. Distracted driving also includes checking out the location and hours of stores via GPS devices embedded in-vehicle dashboards or on smartphones, or looking at one’s phone and dialing a phone number. Please keep your undivided attention on the road.
  3. The holidays sometimes add pressures that one doesn’t normally face, or are simply more acute during the holidays, such as financial pressures, time constraints, and trying to attend too many events in one day. Driving while feeling the weight of the world one’s shoulders can lead to driving too fast for conditions, aggressively driving, or not generally not keeping in mind the safety of others on the road.
  4. Do not drive when you are overly tired. According to EHS Today, who cited a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “people who slept less than 6-7 hours a night were twice as likely to be involved in a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times.” Although schedules can be tight, please only drive when you are well-rested and able to concentrate on the demands of the road. Only you know when you are rested enough to drive.

Please keep these safety tips in mind when driving, whether you’re staying around here or are venturing out of state. Brooks Law Group wishes you a very happy holiday!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.