Home DMV, State Police offers safe driving tips ahead of the busy holiday season

DMV, State Police offers safe driving tips ahead of the busy holiday season

Crystal Graham
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With extra drivers on the road during the holidays, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles urges drivers to use caution.

Last year, between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, there were 2,371 crashes in Virginia that resulted in 1,092 injuries and 22 fatalities.

“The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends. Get to your holiday events safely by following the basic principles of good driving – buckle up, slow down, stay focused and drive sober,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative.

Virginia State Police are echoing the message and urging every motorist on the road this holiday season to be responsible, obey the traffic laws, ditch distractions and wear a seatbelt.

“This past Thanksgiving, Virginia had a record number of traffic deaths. It was the most on any major holiday in a decade. And, the past three years have seen ever increasing numbers of total traffic deaths each year*,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Superintendent of Virginia State Police. “I encourage all Virginians and their families to make time this holiday season and talk about ways to be safer on the road. Encourage loved ones young and old to adopt new safety habits and start 2023 on the right foot.”

Every year during the holidays, there is an increase in drunk-driving related fatalities and crashes across the nation.

“Remember, drinking and driving or being impaired in any way is never an option,” said Settle. “Celebrating can mean different things to different people but it should never include driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.”

Safe driving reminders

  • Buckle up – make sure every person in the vehicle is property restrained, including having the appropriate car seats installed correctly for children
  • Drive distraction-free – many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction; put it away and just drive
  • Slow down – do not exceed the speed limit and keep a safe distance between you and other vehicles
  • Move over – drivers are required to move over one lane if passing stopped vehicles with flashing amber, red or blue lights
  • Designate a sober driver – do not get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; arrange an alternative mode of transportation

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ full-service customer service centers will be closed for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays from Dec. 23-26, and on Monday, Jan. 2.

More than 50 services are available online at dmvNOW.com or through the mail if customers need access to DMV during the winter holiday closures.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.