Now that the holiday season is here, driving safety should be at the forefront of your mind. Even if you simply drive across town to visit grandma or another relative, it is imperative that you drive in a safe manner. The slightest mistake on a busy road during the holiday rush has the potential to cause a nasty accident that jeopardizes your health as well as your ability to work. Let’s take a quick look at a few holiday travel safety tips.
Holiday Travel Tip #1: Take a Break Every two Hours
It is a mistake to drive longer than two hours without a break. If you need to drive more than a couple hours to your holiday destination, plan on stopping for a break at least once during the trip. If you are driving cross-state or cross-country, you will likely need several breaks. Stopping for a breath of fresh air every couple hours helps you stay mentally aware, gives you a chance to stretch your legs and ultimately makes the trip that much more enjoyable. If your trip will be particularly lengthy, do not attempt to do all the driving in one day. Stop at a hotel for an overnight stay and you will dramatically reduce the chances of an accident resulting from falling asleep while behind the wheel.
Holiday Travel Tip #2: Make Sure Your Child’s Car Seat is Secure
If you are traveling with a child younger than the age of 13, double check his or her car seat to guarantee it is installed in the proper manner. Kids should always sit in the rear seat. Be sure to check your child’s height and weight prior to your scheduled holiday trip to ensure the car seat/booster seat is optimal for his or her unique weight, height and age.
Holiday Travel Tip #3: Pack an Emergency Roadside Kit
Though you might not ever need your emergency roadside kit, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. You should have enough medical supplies, food and water in your emergency roadside kit to keep you warm and well-fed/hydrated for several hours. This way, if your car breaks down or if there is a pileup ahead on the highway, you will have everything you need to remain comfortable. Your emergency roadside kit should contain a blanket, water, non-perishable food, a first-aid kit, batteries, a flashlight, candles, flares, medicine and a map.
Holiday Travel Tip #4: Get a Tune-up Before Departing
Bring your vehicle to a trusted mechanic before heading out for your road trip. Have your vehicle tuned-up and checked over by an automotive expert and you will have complete peace of mind during your holiday road trip. The mechanic should check everything from the vehicle’s fluids to the belts, battery and tires.
Holiday Travel Tip #5: Ignore Your Phone
Do not fall into the trap of checking your phone while driving. Though driving is boring and it is tempting to grab your phone for a quick look while the cruise control is on, it is imperative you resist the temptation. Wait until you reach a text stop or another highway rest/fuel stop to check your phone.
Holiday Travel Tip #5: Bring Paper Directions
Too many drivers assume their smartphone will be able to pull up directions to their holiday destination on the morning of the trip. There is no guarantee your smartphone will have a clear signal or function properly on the day you are set to depart. Print paper directions and you will have a backup directional guide just in case your smartphone is not cooperating.