The holiday season is finally here; and, with it comes holiday travel. From late November to mid-January you will see more cars on the roads and more people choosing to travel by plane again, even during these uncertain times. If your family is choosing to travel during this holiday season, along with the usual risks of traveling, there will be new risks for everyone in the family with regard to COVID-19 exposure. Airports, bus stations, train stations, and car rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces. These are also places where it can be difficult for you and your family to socially distance. Take basic precautions while traveling to keep you and your family safe. The following holiday travel safety tips will help keep your holidays merry and bright for years to come:
Traveling by Car
Many people opt to go on a roadtrip when traveling for the holidays. This method of travel – while helping to keep your family safe from COVID-19 exposure – has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation per mile of travel. There is an increase in the number of car crashes during the holiday months, with about one-third of these crashes involving alcohol.
There are many ways to stay safe while driving during the holidays, including:
- Stay alert while driving.
- Make sure your car is in good working condition by checking the air in your tires and your car’s oil levels.
- Plan your trip in advance and leave early to avoid traffic.
- Ensure all passengers are buckled up – no matter how long or short the trip.
- Do not drive while distracted – including no texting while driving.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car.
- Always designate a sober driver when going out to celebrate. Never drink and drive, even if you only have “a couple of drinks.”
- On longer road trips, take appropriate breaks at rest stops or restaurants. Be sure to socially distance from others outside of your family and wash your hands if you touch frequently used surfaces.
Traveling by Plane
Traveling by plane, while typically safer than traveling by car for the holidays, is a difficult, stressful process that now requires being even more cautious to stay safe. To travel by plane, you must, at a minimum, stand in security lines and airport terminals that will bring you and your family into close contact with others. Sitting and standing next to people outside of your household will significantly increase your risk of contracting COVID-19.
To help your family stay safe while flying, follow these holiday travel safety tips:
- Do your research and choose an airline that has strict safety precautions and is following all CDC COVID-19 guidelines.
- Pack light and try to take only carry-on luggage. This will help you and your family avoid waiting in crowded baggage claim areas.
- Be prepared to head through security quickly by ensuring you’ve only packed what is allowed in your bags.
- Travel on off-peak days so you can avoid crowded airport terminals.
- Wear a mask and bring sanitizer. After touching any commonly used surface, sanitize. Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth.
- Plan your family seats accordingly. Ensuring your family sits together will help you avoid prolonged contact with others.
- Bring your own water and wait to eat. Keeping your mask on as much as possible while in close contact with others is critical to minimizing your exposure to the coronavirus.
Check for Travel Restrictions
When traveling throughout the U.S., each state may have its own travel restrictions in place. Some states may have virus testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, or quarantine requirements upon arrival. Research these restrictions before you head out. Plan your route accordingly or stay at home. Be prepared to be flexible but safe during your trip as these restrictions may change during your travel.
Experienced Houston Personal Injury Attorneys
The holidays are meant to be a fun time with family but accidents do happen. Many people let their guard down and do not act as safely as they normally would. If you are in an accident involving an impaired driver, the personal injury trial attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C., can help. We have years of experience successfully handling cases involving all aspects of personal injury and wrongful death. If you or a loved one were injured in a drunk driving accident, contact the trial attorneys at Dax F. Garza, P.C. today to discuss your case and get a free consultation.