Holiday Roadway and Home Safety

The holidays are a fun and exciting time when people get to come together to decorate and celebrate, but nothing puts a damper on Christmas spirits like a visit to the emergency room! During this holiday season, spend extra time taking care of your family and friends by following proper roadway and home safety with a few of these tips from SMART Safety.

Driving Safety

Every year when the holidays roll around, people travel far and wide to be with family. The risk for vehicle accidents is significantly higher during this time, especially when traveling in winter conditions like snow and sleet. When roads are thick with traffic, roadway safety should be increased and drivers should be more alert. It is very important to be aware of your surroundings and keep two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road at all times. For the safety of yourself, the passengers of your vehicle and all others on the road, never drive when you become drowsy or if you have been drinking. Drowsy driving is impaired driving and can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. In fact, sleep-deprived driving accidents are responsible for more than 6,400 U.S. deaths every year. When planning your holiday travels, use these tips to ensure you arrive safe and sound:

1. Plan Ahead – Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and serviced. Also, try to decide beforehand where you plan to stop and rest along your journey.

2. Avoid Distractions – Set up your GPS, music or any other distractions before putting the vehicle in gear. The driver should avoid fiddling with technology while behind the wheel.

3. Remain Alert – Ensure you are well rested and focused on the road. If your eyes get heavy or you feel exhaustion kicking in, pull over and take a break.

4. Maintain Your Speed – Often traffic speed fluctuates and people change lanes frequently. This increases the chance of an accident tremendously, so maintain a speed that keeps up with traffic and reduce the amount of times you switch lanes if possible.

5. Have An Emergency Plan – Winter road conditions can very quickly cause accidents and having emergency tools, blankets and snacks in your vehicle can help provide safety while you wait on help. If you are in an icy or snowy area it can take hours for proper help to arrive.

Home Decorating Safety

One of the most exciting aspects during the holiday season is seeing homes decked in Christmas lights and other holiday decor. While these decorations create a magical experience, they can quickly turn into a nightmare if safe measures are not used. When

decorating your home or office for the holidays, keep these tips in mind:

1. Ensure proper lighting – Do not use frayed or bare wires and never plug into a broken socket. Be sure any lights used outdoors are meant for outdoor use and are plugged into a an outlet with ground-fault circuit interrupters to reduce the risk of circuit fires.

2. Properly Use Ladders – Always use the “three points of contact” ladder rule and never consume alcohol while ladders are being used. More than 40% of holiday accidents are caused by improper ladder safety.

3. Use Proper Tree Care – If you have a live tree in your home you should ensure approximately 5 quarts of water are in the stand daily. Be sure to always turn the lights off when you are sleeping or are not home. Light timers are a great way to ensure lights are not left on excessively!

While plans often change, having a plan in place for holiday safety provides a sense of structure that eases decision making stresses when something unexpected happens. Planning for the worst and hoping for the best is a great way to ensure the highest amount of safety during the holiday season. Knowing your family is taking proper precautions to provide safety for everyone should bring a sense of peace to your household.

For monthly safety tips from SMART Safety, subscribe to our blog and follow our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. SMART Safety provides safety services to companies nationwide including safety program management, training, auditing and OSHA compliance. For information on how SMART Safety can help your company improve their safety, contact us using the button in the top right corner of this page or by calling (844) 820-8098.

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More than just safety consultants, SMART Safety is an integrated safety services system.

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