Blog > 5 Tips for Safe Holiday Travel
The holiday season is filled with family gatherings, joy, delicious food and travel—usually on a busy schedule with potentially bad weather. That’s why it’s important to take all safety precautions before hitting the road to grandmas house this holiday season.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are among the most dangerous holidays for drivers. This is due to the increased amount of drivers on the road, the increased urgency to reach a destination, the poor driving conditions the winter months bring as well as other factors.
Protect your family and your vehicle this holiday season with these tips.
1. A week before setting off for your destination perform vehicle maintenance.
• Check Antifreeze levels – ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing.
• Brakes – check for wear and fluid levels.
• Exhaust system – repair as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.
• Fuel and air filters – replace as needed.
• Battery and ignition system – make sure they’re clean and functioning properly.
• Heater and defroster – ensure they work properly.
• Lights and flashing hazard lights – check for serviceability.
• Thermostat – ensure it works properly.
• Windshield wiper equipment – repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level.
• Install good winter tires – make sure the tires have adequate tread.
2. Check the weather. If you plan to travel when inclement weather looms, monitor road and weather conditions by checking local news stations or Internet traffic and weather sites. You can sign up for weather alerts to receive text messages and optional alerts for your area. Do not check your phone while driving, and avoid all unnecessary distractions when you’re behind the wheel. Before you leave the driveway or parking lot, take time to clear snow and ice off your car, including your windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk. Drive with your headlights on, and be sure to keep them clean to improve visibility. Use caution when snow banks limit your view of oncoming traffic.
3. Make an emergency road kit. According to AAA, a winter emergency kit should include a first aid kit, jumper cables, an ice scraper and snow brush. You should also carry:
• Sand, cat litter or traction mats
• Small shovel
• Gloves, hats and blankets
• Flashlights with fresh batteries and warning flares or triangles
• Shop rags or paper towels
• Drinking water and nonperishable snack bars
• Warm clothes
• Basic hand tools
• Chargers for your phone
4. Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads. Consider altering your travel times to avoid the heavy traffic.
5. Have you paperwork in order. Make sure your auto insurance policy is current and that you have a copy in your vehicle. Have roadside assistance information readily handy in case on incident occurs.
More on driver safety from SIA Group:
Sources: 1. http://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/holiday-road-trip-travel-tips/#.WhK9dROCyRt 2. http://www.nsc.org/pages/home.aspx< Back to posts