Driving this Holiday Season and New Years

Georgia, like many other states, has more people on the roads during the holiday season. That means more distracted drivers, more people driving impaired, and more out-of-state visitors unfamiliar with Georgia’s roads and weather conditions. All of this can result in more accidents.

“As travel is expected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, and roads are expected to be more crowded than last year, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants everyone to enjoy this holiday season with family and friends by obeying the traffic laws, staying focused on the road, and not driving impaired,” Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety said in a press release.

GPS Will Be Out Watching the Roads

The Georgia State Patrol has announced that to try to reduce the number of crashes on state roadways, GSP Troopers and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) Officers will be on high visibility patrols on interstates and state roads during the Christmas travel period. That lasts from 6 p.m. Thursday, December 23rd, until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, December 26th. Also, they’ll be out in force on the 78-hour New Year’s holiday period, which begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 30th, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 2nd.

2020 Holiday Statistics

During the 2020 Christmas holiday travel period, there were 21 fatalities from 19 fatal crashes. GSP investigated almost 300 (294) crashes that resulted in 143 injuries and 10 fatal crashes resulting in 12 fatalities.

State troopers and officers issued more than 7,500 citations and over 9,900 warnings. About 180 people were arrested for driving impaired.

The 2020-21 New Year’s holiday travel period resulted in 14 fatalities from 11 fatal crashes. GSP investigated 548 crashes that resulted in 257 injuries and nine fatal crashes resulting in 12 fatalities. There were more than 8,300 citations and 9,900 warnings issues. Over 375 people were arrested for driving under the influence.

Preventing a Holiday Accident

DPS says that the most important thing is to stay focused on where you’re going when out on the roadways this holiday season. Georgia motorists should take care so that an automobile or semi accident doesn’t ruin your holiday festivities.

If you plan to consume alcohol during holiday parties, be certain to have a sober designated driver. You can call a taxi or rideshare, a friend, or family member to help you get home safely. Have these plans set before you get into the holiday spirit.

In addition, you should follow these tips to keep accidents to a minimum:

  • Stop, look, and listen;
  • Know your vehicle’s blind spots, including those in rearview mirrors and behind windshield pillars;
  • Remember that truck drivers have a large blind spot on their right-hand side, so be careful when driving next to a big rig.
  • Don’t text and drive;
  • Don’t drink or use controlled substances and drive;
  • Always focus on the area where you will be driving in 10-12 seconds and anticipate other drivers’ actions.
  • Don’t tailgate and give yourself at least a three-second cushion between you and the car in front of you;
  • Don’t speed, especially in bad weather; and
  • Be courteous to other drivers.

Enjoy your holidays and be safe!