How To Stay Safe On The Roads This Christmas As A Disabled Driver

The holiday season is here, and disabled drivers must take precautions to ensure they stay safe on the road, just as every other driver should. Precautions and planning ahead are key to safety this year, so make sure you’re staying safe on your journeys by incorporating a few of our top safety tips. Read on to find out how to stay safe on the roads this Christmas as a disabled driver.

Properly Maintain Your Vehicle

Keeping your vehicle maintained is one of the first steps in ensuring you’re safe on the roadway. If you drive an adaptive vehicle, those may require more frequent checks than a regular car to make sure they’re in the correct working order. Of course, this depends on the modifications you’ve had done, so check with your car dealer to find out what these special concerns might be.

Disabled Parking - Christmas travel
Image by Shokhrukh Ibragimov on Unsplash: Driving with a disability means you have to be even more aware of the dangers of winter driving.

Some of the regular maintenance you should carry out on your vehicle is:

  • Check tire pressure – Keep your tires at the recommended levels and be sure to check them at least once per month, or at the very least, before a big trip.
  • Change your oil – Your vehicle’s manual should tell you how often the oil should be changed, as well as any other fluids important in the maintenance of your car.
  • Clean the windows and headlights – Cleaning the windows and headlights of your vehicle regularly can help reduce glare if you drive at night and ensure that other vehicles can clearly spot you, too.
  • Check the lights – Every light on your car should be checked, including the headlights, parking lights, reverse lights, brake lights, and turn signals.
  • Have it inspected – At least once per year, your car should be put up on a lift and inspected to help reduce hazards on the road.

Christmas Driving Tips For Disabled Drivers

Disabled drivers have special considerations when they’re on the road. That’s why it’s critical to take a few steps to stay safe, such as:

Planning your route

Before you even leave your home, you should make sure to know exactly where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. This allows you to keep your attention focused on the road and will keep you from needing to stop to ask for directions.

Avoid dangerous conditions

Make sure the weather will be clear when you plan to drive, and that you’re traveling when traffic won’t be at its worst. Diving in conditions that aren’t ideal can make the whole experience more stressful and complicated. If you cannot avoid unsafe conditions, you may want to find an alternative way to get where you need to go, such as taking public transportation or having a friend drive you.

Reduce distractions

Successful driving relies heavily on visual, mental, and physical skills. Don’t distract yourself when you’re behind the wheel with music, your phone, or even other people in the car. Focus on the road so you can get to your destination safely.

Disabled Parking - driving in snow
Image by Drew Lindsley on Unsplash: Holiday driving safety tips can be used all year long – the weather may change, but driving with a disability does not.

There are a few other general safe driving tips that people both with and without disabilities can benefit from. Whenever you plan to drive somewhere this holiday season, remember these tips:

Don’t drive when you’re tired

If you plan to drive a long distance, don’t do it when you’re tired. Do not rely on caffeine to get you through, and if you find yourself in a position where you feel too drowsy when driving, pull over someplace safe and rest for a bit.

Take breaks often

If you are traveling with another person, take turns driving if possible. If alone, then take regular breaks to stretch and give yourself rest from the road.

Pack things right

A lot of accidents on the road this time of the year occur because of loose items in the car. Don’t risk it – make sure you properly store and secure everything in your vehicle.

Keep an eye out for other drivers

It’s not just your own actions you must be aware of on the road, but the actions of other drivers too. Stay alert and look for other people doing dangerous things, such as making lane changes or turning without a signal, tailgating, and swerving.

Stay safe out there if you plan to travel this Christmas!

Featured image by Byron Johnson on Unsplash