Use safeties to your advantage.
In season 1, a skip simply preserved your streak without adding to it. Now, these safeties give you an automatic correct answer which DOES add to your streak. That being the case, once you get to 9 questions on your own, with three safeties saved, you are guaranteed to get to 12 by using said safeties.
There are of course a multitude of other mathematical combinations for this - use a safety one question before earning another one to keep yourself going (in this example, you would have used 4 safeties to get to 12, only requiring 8 correct answers on your part), and so on.
A little bit of math goes a long way, especially considering the (apparently) raised difficulty of this season's questions.