The holiday season is upon us once again, and with it comes holiday traffic. As more people get on the road to reach their holiday destinations, it is important to always stay safe and aware during this hectic holiday season. According to the National Safety Council, around 39 thousand people died as a result of vehicle accidents in 2019. Whether you’re driving across the country or across town, follow these tips to keep yourself and others on the road out of harm’s way and begin your festivities safe and sound.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Before heading out on the road it is important to make sure your vehicle is maintained. Double-check your tire pressure and confirm the tire tread depth is in good condition. Additionally, you want to test your car’s battery, inspect your brakes, and check the wiper blades. Ensure all these components are working properly before you begin your journey.
Do NOT Drink and Drive
While this should be applied every day of the year, it should be stressed during the holiday season. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 29% of vehicle fatalities in 2018 were caused by drunk driving. So if you’re attending a holiday party this season, please get a designated driver or get a ride home through ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber.
Take a look at your route before heading out to understand how to get to your destination. If you come across an area with no cellphone service you’ll want to ensure you don’t get lost. If you can, try to leave earlier than usual to avoid heavy traffic.
Check the Weather
Apart from checking the weather for your holiday destination, check the weather forecast for the areas you’ll be driving through. This will keep you prepared from any unexpected weather conditions.
Get Some Rest
Try to get plenty of rest the night before you leave. Not getting enough sleep will affect your driving skills, fatigue will impact your reaction time on the road. If you start getting tired while driving take a break, stop and stretch, or get a coffee or energy drink. If you can, switch drivers after a few hours to always have an alert set of eyes on the road. If not, try breaking up the trip into more than one day, better to arrive late than not at all.
Secure Your Home and Car
Make certain that all entry points to your home are locked and secured. Unfortunately, home burglaries increase during the holidays as more people are away from home. Furthermore do not leave valuables unattended in your car or in plain sight. If there is room try to store them in your trunk to avoid any unfortunate situations.
Have An Emergency Kit
In case of emergency make sure you are prepared by having an emergency kit handy. Items in your kit should include:
- First aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Ice scraper
- Sand, cat litter, or traction mats
- Flashlights, flares, and hazard signs
- Drinking water
- Non-perishable snacks
- Warm clothes and blankets
- Cell Phone chargers
- Roadside assistance contact information
Take Care of the Kids
If you’re traveling with kids make sure they’re secured in their appropriate seats, this will greatly reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of a crash. Use car and booster seats in the correct way, do not strap kids in with jackets and coats on. These clothes prevent the harnesses from tightly securing the child and will become loose. Instead, follow the CDC’s tip and buckle the harness first, then put the coat, jacket, or blanket on top of the child to keep them warm.
To avoid distractions to the driver make sure the kids have plenty of distractions to keep themselves busy. Use games, books, or movies to make the drive more enjoyable for everyone. And NEVER leave kids unattended if you have to stop at a rest stop, gas station, or side of the road, always keep an eye on them.
Stay Within the Speed Limit
With more cars on the road, it is best to increase your stopping distance during the holiday season. Harsh winter conditions such as icy and wet roads will also impact your stopping distance so keep this in mind as well. Additionally, highway patrols use speed traps during the holiday season to keep everyone on the road safe, according to CARFAX.
Repair Your Car At Ric’s Body & Paint
While these tips will take you a long way in ensuring you and your loved ones arrive safe and sound at your destinations we know accidents can happen. If you have suffered from a collision our team at Ric’s Body & Paint will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts. Contact us today!