Traveling during the holidays has always presented problems in the way of crowds, weather incidents, accidents, and an increase in alcohol consumption. Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported an estimated 800 fatalities on our roads during the Christmas/New Year’s Day holiday. But this holiday, we have a new concern to add to the mix: COVID-19. And this will no doubt add to highway travel since many are uncomfortable with air travel right now.
Although the CDC has advised us to stay at home for the holidays, after months of isolation many are longing for family and to simply get away. With the availability of remote working hours and kids on holiday vacation, many are taking this opportunity for car travel this holiday. This adds exponentially to the holiday highway stress of previous years.
If you are planning on embarking on a road trip for the holidays, you will need to consider added preparation, even if you have made the particular trip many times in the past. Make sure to check the most current COVID-19 restrictions for your destination. The Federal Highway Administration maintains a directory of state-specific websites regarding COVID-19 as well as traffic and weather alerts. As always, if you need the advice of an experienced NYC car accident lawyer, reach out to K. L. Sanchez Law Office P. C.
Planning Your Trip
Planning is key this year, given our current situation and restrictions.
- Make sure that your car is well maintained and serviced prior to travel.
- Packing sanitizing supplies is essential. This should include hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, disposable gloves, sealable plastic bags, and tissues.
- You should plan on wearing a mask in all indoor public places and even outdoor places if you are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. Make sure to bring plenty of extras.
- Bring an adequate amount of water, snacks, and other necessities to cut down on the amount of times you will need to stop.
- Keeping hygiene-conscious on the road is essential and may require extra vigilance in high-volume rest stop situations.
- Pumping gas should include disposable gloves. Paying with a credit card at the pump cuts down on the need to go inside.
- Restroom breaks might be tricky. Some establishments now prevent customers from using their restroom facilities due to sanitation concerns. Restrooms demand particular sanitation vigilance for travelers. Bring in plenty of wipes or other sanitation measures in case the stop doesn’t have adequate soap. Make sure not to touch surfaces after washing or sanitizing your hands.
Many restaurants are limited as far as inside dining. Most major chains will still have drive-through or curbside options, however. The safest solution is to bring your own travel food to avoid as much interaction as possible. Even at hotels, most are no longer offering buffet breakfasts and have replaced these with individual grab and go fare.
Most hotel chains are open for business, most offering enhanced sanitation protocols. But even so, high-touch surfaces in rooms, such as doorknobs, handles, television remotes, and bathroom fixtures should be wiped down individually.
Alcohol and the Holidays
Unfortunately, the holidays always see greater alcohol consumption, and this year will be no different. Based on alcohol sales already this year, the increased anxiety over our pandemic and our current economic downturn has shown an increase in alcohol consumption.
Drive sober. Celebrating the holidays will be wonderful after the year we’ve had but getting behind the wheel of your car after celebrating puts everyone’s lives in jeopardy. Always have a plan for a sober ride home.
If you have been injured in a car accident this holiday, make sure to get expert advice from an experienced lawyer. At Keetick L. Sanchez, we offer a free consultation to discuss your case after an accident. Please drive safely and Happy Holidays!