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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

Driving tips for a safe and happy holiday.

The holidays are a magical time, and we want to share the joy and magic with family and friends. Many of us travel long distances to spend Thanksgiving or Christmas with those we love. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving weekend kicks off what is traditionally the most dangerous time of year on American highways. In fact, Thanksgiving weekend is the most dangerous of all. The Thanksgiving Holiday ranks number one for alcohol related fatalities. It is hard to have a happy holiday if someone you love has been seriously injured or killed in a traffic accident.  
 
Fortunately, here in the Los Angeles area, we don’t worry about snow storms and blizzards. But, road rage and distracted drivers tend to increase around this time. Increased traffic, drivers unfamiliar with the roads, more distractions and stress can lead to dangerous road conditions that have nothing to do with weather. In order to avoid car accidents, drivers should remain aware of these dangers throughout the holiday season.  
 
The personal injury lawyers at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie wish you a joyful and safe holiday season, and we’d like to provide you with some holiday travel tips to help keep you and your family safe.
 
Leave early. Leaving plenty of travel time means you can drive at safe speeds, take plenty of rest breaks, and avoid stress.  
Take breaks. Frequent stops can help you avoid fatigue and stay focused.
Before leaving on a long trip, check your car. Check tire pressure, oil and lights. Carry a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack and emergency equipment such as flares and extra blankets.  
Make sure everyone buckles up. Children under age 6 are required to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.  Make sure the seat is properly installed.
If possible, avoid peak travel dates. The day right before Thanksgiving or Christmas is usually the day that most people travel. You can avoid heavy traffic by traveling on the holiday itself or by planning your holiday celebration for another day.
Plan your route with alternatives in case of bad weather or heavy traffic. Expect heavy traffic near cities.
Listen to the radio to find out about traffic and possible bad weather.
Hide gifts during stops. Bright color packages and shopping bags tempt thieves to break into your vehicle.
Avoid distractions. Pull over to use the cell phone.
Distract the kids so they don’t distract you. Play a DVD for them or give them small soft toys to play with (finger puppets and small stuffed animals work well). Older children can be happy for hours if they are wearing a head set.  If you need to, give them snacks.
Don’t drink and drive. If there is drinking at your celebration, appoint a designated driver.
  
By following these safety precautions, you can help keep the holidays safe for everyone and avoid traffic accidents. But if you do have an accident, we’re here for you 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Happy Holidays from all the attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie.

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