It’s that time of year again!
The holiday season is here, and with it comes plenty of festive cheer – and lots of extra traffic on the roads.
Whether you’re heading out to a family gathering or simply doing some last-minute shopping, being prepared for the holiday-driving frenzy is essential.
To help ensure your trip goes smoothly, we’ve put together these handy tips so you can have stress-free travels this season.
Quick Tips for Safe Holiday Travels
1. Plan in advance – Make sure to plan your route ahead of time. Google maps, Waze, or other navigation systems can help you avoid traffic and save time.
2. Give Yourself Time – Give yourself more time than usual for your journey and try to avoid peak hours if possible.
3. Keep an eye on the weather – Be aware of the weather conditions and take necessary precautions before driving in snow or rain.
4. Be aware of other drivers – As more people are out on the roads during the holidays, be aware of other drivers and anticipate their actions.
5. Take Regular Rest Breaks – Taking regular rest breaks is essential for long trips. Make sure to stop and stretch your legs every few hours
6. Practice Safe Driving – Make sure to keep your speed in check and obey traffic laws. Put down your phone, and stay alert and focused.
Plan in advance
Make sure you plan your route and give yourself enough time to reach your destination.
Check the weather forecast ahead of time, as it may be unpredictable during the holiday season. It’s also important to ensure your vehicle is road-ready before setting out on a long journey by regularly checking fluid levels, tire pressure, lights, and other components.
Pack a roadside emergency kit that includes items such as jumper cables, a flashlight, first aid supplies, and extra warm clothes in case you find yourself stranded or stuck in bad weather conditions.
Additionally, always carry an up-to-date map with you just in case GPS navigation fails or isn’t available.
We recommend you throw some safety items in your trunk for holiday travel, including:
- Emergency Kit
- Road Flares
- Car charger
- Jumper Cables
- Extra Fuses
- Fire Extinguisher
- Ice Scraper & Brush
- Non-Perishable Food
- Bottled Water
- Toilet Paper
- Paper Towels
Get ready for heavy traffic
During the holidays, roads and highways can be especially busy. If you plan to take a road trip or travel by car during the holiday season, leave extra time for your journey, as traffic will undoubtedly be heavy.
Plan breaks so you don’t get too tired, and keep an eye out for sudden stops in traffic which may occur more often than usual due to the influx of travelers.
Also, remember that driving at night is much harder, even with headlights!
So if possible, try to stick to daytime trips.
Take Regular Rest Break
The U.S. Department of Transportation / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates up to 20% of traffic deaths may be attributable to drowsy driving.
When you’re tired, your reaction times decrease, and it’s harder to stay focused on the road.
To combat drowsy driving, plan a rest break every two hours or 100 miles. If you find yourself feeling sleepy or fatigued, pull over in a safe location for at least 15-20 minutes and take a nap.
Consuming caffeine can also help temporarily increase alertness.
Defensive Driving Tips
Obey speed limits, especially when driving through unfamiliar areas.
Don’t rely solely on cruise control – adjust your speed based on traffic conditions and slow down for curves and hills.
Going too fast reduces the time you have to react to hazards and increases fuel consumption.
Exercise safe driving techniques:
- Don’t Follow Too Closely
- Don’t Drink and Drive
- Don’t check social media
- Don’t TEXT or send emails
- Always wear your seatbelt
According to NHTSA, thirty-two people die in drunk driving wrecks every day in the United States. That works out to be about one person every forty-five minutes!
Buckling up is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to protect yourself from danger while driving.
Wearing a seatbelt increases the likelihood of surviving an accident by 50%.
Use these tips and stay safe this holiday season!
Check Your Car
Don’t forget to check that your vehicle is in good condition before you head out on your trip.
Make sure all of your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread, and that all of the lights are working.
Check levels for oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, coolant, and the power steering fluid if needed.
If you’re taking a long trip it’s also always a good idea to get a safety inspection at an auto shop before hitting the road.
We hope you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!