How to Combat Holiday Traffic

If you’re ready to get out of the house for some holiday travel this year, expect that you’re not the only one feeling this way. It’s in your best interests to know what to expect on the roads so that you’re fully prepared. You’ll also decrease your travel time and any potential risk of an accident by keeping these facts in the back of your mind. 

Most people want to know if there’s any way to combat holiday traffic or if it’s something you just have to deal with due to the season. There are some things you can do to make this process easier for yourself, but you will always deal with an increased number of travelers this time of year.  

It's not as easy as deciding not to travel at all during the holidays, because for many people, this is their only chance to get some time off work and to see distant family members. Particularly after a lengthy pandemic, many people are looking for more traditional holidays than the past two years. This means that you can anticipate that more people will be out there and that you'll need to be prepared for how to combat holiday traffic. 

Combatting holiday traffic is especially difficult during November and December since the natural holiday schedules of most companies allow for multiple days off or even weeks off. Most people want to spend the holidays with their family members and this can make travel congested, chaotic, and frustrating. 

Decide What Your Ideal Holiday Looks Like 

As you were thinking about how to combat holiday traffic, you might want to instead start by envisioning your ideal holiday season. Although it might be nice to spend additional time with family, if you have done this in past years and dealt with a lot of traffic, consider the pros and cons. You might not be able to visit every family member or attend two different holiday events in close succession. While it can be hard to break the news to grandparents or other family members, you can also make your holiday a lot easier to manage by limiting the things you attend. If your ideal holiday is a quiet and peaceful one in your own home, you can also encourage other family members to come visit you rather than putting the travel pressure on your family. There is no wrong answer since so much of it depends on what works for your family and how you intend to celebrate the holidays. 

Celebrate at Different Times

Although it’s hard to get your whole family and friend circle on the same page about when to host holiday events, if you have a smaller group who is willing to do things on off days, you might have better luck with travel. For example, if you’re looking at the weekend after New Year’s Eve to celebrate your end of year plans, there’s a much easier chance for getting affordable travel plans in place. There will be fewer people traveling during that time and the airports will be quieter. Of course, you’ll need to get everyone on the same page about the best time for a get together. 

Leave Earlier 

If you leave earlier than you originally planned, you won’t have to deal with as much traffic as you’ll encounter on major travel days. For example, most people know that the days before Thanksgiving are very busy for traveling because plenty of people will take those extra days off. It can be a nightmare to travel through the airport or on the roads. Although if you have a traditional job you need to take additional paid leave to accommodate for this, you might be able to save plenty of time and have a better experience overall by leaving earlier.

Choose Different Destinations 

A non-traditional holiday season might be just what the doctor ordered if you want to avoid the traditional hectic travel. Maybe you'll decide to take your family to a resort destination or a quiet place, which can decrease the stress of having to go through busy airports or busy travel Hub centers during these popular times. 

The bonus of going this route is that there are usually not as many families at big resorts during these holidays, but that you might have to deal with reduced hours and other challenges around availability. Going off the beaten path can pay off if you’re able to relax more or enjoy your holiday without the pressure of traffic. 

Maintain Calm 

There's only so much you can do to minimize the possibility of sitting in traffic during the holiday season. Despite your best efforts, you might still find yourself behind the wheel looking at break lights ahead of you. Remember that maintaining calm during this time will help you to avoid the risk of being hurt in a serious accident and could make for a more enjoyable experience overall. Many people already suffered a great deal of stress and frustration during the holidays because of the extensive travel time, but remember to try to make things as peaceful as possible and you'll thank yourself during the holiday season. You can certainly make your travel plans easier by eliminating certain stops or by reducing the number of commitments you make during this season, but if you still have to hit the road or get on an airplane, expect delays and try to roll with the punches. 

Skip Traveling the Day After Christmas 

Most of the pre-holiday rush is as a result of many people trying to get home for the Christmas holiday. This is because this is the most popular time for families to get together and enjoy the holiday as one group. Because of this pressure, there's a lot of traffic on the road immediately before the Christmas holiday and the day after. If possible, plan a day to overstay so that you can get on the road two days later rather than putting yourself on the row during one of the busiest travel days of the year. Many people are also more tired after the Christmas holiday and may be more distracted as well. Kids who are not used to long road trip can make car drives more difficult during this period, so overall you can expect that fewer people are as focused on the road as you might want. This can all combine for a deadly situation. 

Get Help if You’re in an Accident 

Of course, you’re here because you want to know how to combat holiday traffic. But that’s only part of the battle. What do you do if you end up in an accident despite all this? This is when it’s helpful to have the guidance of a dedicated lawyer brought into your claim as soon as possible. 

If you do end up hurt in a serious accident over the holidays, don't skip the important step of calling the police to the scene. This information could become vitally important in your personal injury claim in the future. For example, you can use the police report to illustrate the facts of the accident as they happen. With the busy holiday season and living through an accident to begin with, you may forget these important facts and not be able to recall them as easily as you expected afterwards. You might be tempted to put this entire incident outside of your mind to come back to it after the holidays are over, but you can do yourself a great favor by documenting things in a police report and setting a reminder to follow up with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after you get home and settled. 

Make sure you also get medical attention at the scene even if you don’t immediately feel anything. There are many different kinds of injuries that do not present immediate symptoms. This is why you'll need to be screened by a medical professional and to continue to monitor your overall medical condition after an accident. You might find, for example, that you were suffering from the symptoms of whiplash in the days or hours post-accident. You may be able to file a personal injury claim for these soft tissue injuries and other injuries you sustained, but you want to have a clear picture of your overall medical challenges before reviewing any paperwork from the insurance company or making decisions about your legal claim. 

Those few moments of a vehicle accident can turn your life upside down, which makes it all the more important to retain an injury lawyer. Your best efforts to avoid getting involved in any holiday traffic or accidents might not be enough. This is when you want to reach out to talk to an attorney and get advice about how to proceed. 

If you feel like you’re ready to take the first steps to pursue your case and get the means necessary to move forward with your life, contact Morgan & Morgan for a free case evaluation to get started.

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