Driving during the pandemic is dangerous for different reasons

Road safety and the pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you’re driving to a Thanksgiving gathering or traveling home this weekend, make sure to buckle up and be careful.

A UAB researcher tells us that even with less people on the road, holiday travel is risky.

As you join people on the road, make sure you’re focused.

“One of the primary contributors to all motor vehicle incidents is inattention,” explains Benjamin McManus, assistant director of the TRIP program at UAB which researches these things.

Everything from overeating, driving at night, and emotional stress can distract you from driving.

“If you feel differently, you’ll drive differently, and it will affect your safety,” said McManus.

Even though there are fewer people on the road, he says traffic fatalities have not decreased.

“We believe that’s due to the fact that the roads are a little more wide open, people are making decisions to drive faster, they feel there’s a little more leeway to look at their phones because there are fewer cars around them,” he said.

It’s also worth noting that you can get rusty, and if you haven’t driven long distances in a while, you may want to give yourself more time to take breaks.

He also encourages people to avoid drowsy driving.

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