Safe driving tips for Huntsville ahead of New Year’s Day, one of the deadliest days on the road

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Wintry weather creates hazards as we go about our holiday errands and get-togethers, but it’s also important to recognize that the year-round problem of drinking and driving spikes on New Year’s Day.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), New Year’s Day is one of the deadliest driving days in America, with an average of 555 deaths each year, 322 of which involve alcohol.

With people likely to be out celebrating this New Year’s Eve, Allstate is sharing the annual America’s Best Drivers Report rankings of the largest 200 cities to see which perform best when factoring in population density.

This year’s report shows that Huntsville ranks in the top 25, coming in at #14.

Follow these tips to stay safe on the road during the deadly New Year’s holiday, whether on busy highways or neighborhood streets:

  • Party smart: Allstate strongly urges drivers to plan ahead and always find a sober ride home before partaking in holiday festivities.
  • Buckle up: More traffic brings more crashes of all kinds, so buckle up always.
  • Download Drivewise: It automatically detects trip information, including speed, braking and time of day, by app or small vehicle device, depending on state. A detected trend can indicate unsafe behavior like aggressive/distracted driving or following too closely.
  • Respect the weather: Take extra care if you encounter ice, snow, fog, rain or other dangerous weather conditions. Increasing your following distance, traveling at slower speeds and accounting for the extra stopping time winter weather requires are all good ways to avoid collisions.
  • Don’t panic: If your vehicle does begin to slide or skid with winter weather, don’t slam on the brakes. Look down the road in the direction you want to go and gently steer your vehicle that way. Release the accelerator until traction returns.
  • Have an emergency kit: Include the tools you will need to protect yourself should a problem arise. Gloves, boots, blankets, flares, water, jumper cables, a flashlight and something for traction, such as sand or cat litter, are all helpful items to have in the car.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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