Throughout the year, there are several times where people hit the roads in large numbers. These are often referred to as peak travel times. And if you want to stay safe, you'll need to be prepared.

Though each and every year the news media reports "record-breaking road travel" or "record-breaking numbers" of people on the roadways, regardless, every year there are numerous accidents and fatalities during peak travel seasons.

Strict adherence to road safety during peak travel times is your best defense against getting involved in an automobile accident during holidays or any peak travel time. But you'd be surprised at how many motorists disregard safety, even during the busiest travel times.

No matter if you'll be traveling the roads for Christmas or Memorial Day, being informed about road safety will greatly mitigate the chance of being involved in an accident.

Basic Vehicle Safety

Your first line of defense when it comes to staying safe during peak travel seasons is your vehicle itself. As such, you need to ensure that your vehicle is in good working condition.

For example, peak holiday travel often involves inching along the roads as motorists crowd the Interstates and highways. And this can cause traffic to be backed-up for miles at a time. As such, this also makes the possibility of your car overheating while in traffic that much greater.

Ensuring that your vehicle has been thoroughly maintenanced is your best defense against overheating, or for breaking down in general. And in the event of a breakdown, you'll also want to ensure that you have a road safety kit along with adequate roadside protection on your insurance policy.

If you're unsure if you have roadside assistance, review your policy and obtain new insurance if necessary.

Know the Signs of Distracted Drivers

Vehicles today come with many dashboard distractions, with much more to take your attention away from the road than with older models. And when you consider the addition of smartphone usage, distracted driving is even more prevalent today than ever before.

For example, texting while driving can be fatal. And this has actually caused a vast amount of collisions on the roadways in recent years. And even though there are many laws that outlaw texting while driving, many motorists still disregard them.

Thankfully, there are many visual cues that can alert you to a distracted driver. And a few of these behaviors are as follows:

  • Frequent or abrupt swerving
  • Slowly crossing lanes without signaling
  • Riding in the middle of the road
  • Riding on the shoulder or on the median
  • Head down while driving

Knowing the signs of a distracted driver can save your life and the lives of others while on the road. And if you're able to spot a distracted driver, slow down and keep your distance.

Inclement Weather Issues

During the peak holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, road conditions can be hazardous in many parts of the country. And these holiday driving dangers are even more hazardous with large numbers of travelers on the roadways.

Perhaps the worst weather to drive in includes snow and ice. And while heavy rain can cause slick roads, snow and ice can make road travel life-threatening.

If you plan on traveling across regions where snow or ice are expected, ensure that your vehicle can handle such road conditions and that your tires are sufficient for driving in this type of weather as well.

Remember, ice can accumulate over bridges much faster than on open roadways, and often the ice may be so thin that you can't even see it–a condition known as "black ice." So no matter where you're traveling, always exercise extra safety precautions when traveling through harsh weather conditions.

The holidays are supposed to be a time to share the joy with friends and family. So if you'll be traveling over the roads during any peak travel season, be smart, know the dangers, and play it safe while on the road.