This is the time of year when many people travel, both near and far, in order to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. The season can be a great time for get-togethers, but it can also be especially dangerous for travelers.

Many of us know someone affected by the tragedy of a road traffic crash. It’s a global epidemic that claims two lives every minute on the world’s roads. That adds up to a staggering 1.3 million people every year. How can you stay safe? Here are a few tips:

1.Always use your seatbelt.

2.Do not mix alcohol or other drugs with driving.

3.Avoid distractions by turning off your mobile device; keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

4.Make sure you are well rested and adhere to the speed limit.

5.Keep your vehicle safe with regular car and tire maintenance.

6.If you are a parent of an infant or young child, learn about the proper child restraints by visiting http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/carseatsafety.cfm; if you are the parent of a teenager, visit the CDC’s Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers campaign at http://www.cdc.gov/ParentsAreTheKey/index.html

While the majority of road traffic fatalities occur in the developing world, road traffic injuries are the top killer of healthy Americans traveling abroad, so these rules don’t change, no matter where you spend your holiday.

For additional information, the Journal of Travel Medicine recently published, “Pre-travel consultation without injury prevention is incomplete,” written by JH-IIRU project coordinator, Shirin Wadhwaniya and director, Adnan Hyder.  Injury Prevention recently published “Rates of intentionally caused and road crash deaths of US citizens abroad,” with contributions by JH-IIRU senior technical advisor, David Bishai and Adnan Hyder.

Access the Journal of Travel Medicine here.

Access Injury Prevention here.