We're breaking some records, and it's generally not a good thing. This year, a record number of Californians are going to be hopping behind the wheel or hopping onto a plane over the holiday period. While it's a joyful sign for the economy, it's bad news for anyone traveling along our roadways.
According to the Huffington Post, there are going to be more than 11.5 million Californians (about a third of the state) that is going to be traveling at least 50 miles from their home through the end of the year. This is a 2 percent increase from the previous record that was set back in 2006. It also serves as the fourth straight year we've seen an increase in the number of travelers.
Our Costa Mesa car accident lawyers are asking motorists to plan ahead and to be ready for the holiday traffic. According to Cynthia Harris with AAA of Northern California, we're going to see more travelers because residents are getting into more fuel-efficient vehicles, they're staying a little closer to home and they're even taking day trips, all to save on money. They're also choosing to drive because plane tickets are on the rise.
"Financially it's difficult. It's harder to find flights that are convenient," said a California resident.
Earlier this week, gas prices sat at an average of $3.50 a gallon, making driving much more cost effective.
For these reasons, our roadways are going to be awfully crowded and with more travelers, we can expect to see an increase in the risks for accidents. This part of December is one of the most dangerous times to be on our California roadways. That's why we're asking you to plan ahead and to follow these safe driving tips to help ensure safe holiday travel:
Holiday Travel Tips, from the California Highway Patrol (CHP):
-Before heading out, check weather, traffic and road conditions. Plan your route accordingly.
-Let a loved one know where you're going, when you're leaving, when you arrive and when you come back. It's good for someone to keep tabs on you should something happen.
-Make sure that the doors of your car are locked and your windows are rolled up during travel.
-Check the car before you leave. Make sure that your windshield wipers are working properly, your tires are in good condition and that everything under the hood looks alright.
-Leave for your destination with plenty of time to spare. This will help you to avoid rushing.
-Know where you're going before you leave. Avoid playing with GPS devices and road maps behind the wheel.
-Know the road laws of the places you'll be driving through and visiting.
-Keep distractions out of the driver's seat.
-Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up during each and every car ride. A seat belt is your best defense against injury in the event of a collision.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.
NTSB Pushes for Tougher Drunk Driving Sentences, California Injury Lawyers, December 15, 2012
California Seeing Spike in Traffic Fatalities, Despite National Decrease, California Injury Lawyers, December 13, 2012