• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: Holiday driving safety tips

December 5, 2018

The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be a hazard on the highway. If you're getting behind the wheel, one Mayo Clinic expert has some tips to keep you and your family safe on the road.

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If you're headed out on the highway this holiday season, be aware of the driving dangers.

"We know that there is a big spike in motor vehicle-related accidents and deaths during the holiday season," says Dr. Michael Boniface, a Mayo Clinic emergency medicine physician. "This may be up to five times what we normally see on any other given day of the week."

Dr. Boniface says a lot of driving accidents are preventable if you practice safe driving habits.

"First of all, never drink and drive," he says. "There's always an alternative. Use a designated driver, [or] call a taxi or a ride-hailing service."

His second tip: Always buckle up. And make sure children are secured in age-appropriate safety seats.

"Seat belts save lives," says Dr. Boniface. "They reduce your risk of dying by about 50 percent in major car accidents."

And if you're driving, put the phone or any other device away. Distracted driving can easily cause a crash if you're not focused on the road.

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