It's that time of year again! With the holiday season upon us, many of us will be taking to the roads to visit friends and family. While this is an exciting time, it can also be potentially dangerous due to increased road traffic during this period. This means more chances for accidents and other related hazards. To help you stay safe while traveling this holiday season, here are some road trip safety tips to help you avoid car accidents while you travel.
Check Your Car Before You Go
Before heading out on your trip, it's essential to ensure your car is in good condition. Check that all your lights are working correctly, check all tires for wear and tear (including the spare tire), and top up all fluids, including oil, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid. Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and replace them if necessary – they're essential if you expect rain or snow while driving! Also, check your brakes – if they feel soft or spongy, then take your car to a mechanic before you go.
Not Sure it's Safe to Take Your Car?
Consider an upgrade. It may seem like a less-than-obvious time to think about trading in your car, but it may be just the right time to get you and your family on the road in a safer car while also saving money on automotive bills, like insurance. Check with your local dealership and insurance agency to discuss the cheapest and safest cars to own and insure for holiday road trips.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
No one wants to think about getting stuck in an emergency on their holiday road trip, but it pays to be prepared just in case. Keep a fully stocked roadside emergency kit handy with items like jumper cables, a flashlight, a blanket, water bottles, first aid supplies, and any other items that could come in handy in an emergency.
Before you hit the road, take the time to review how to use the tools in your emergency kit. The best kit does no good if you're unsure what to do with it. If something happens while on the road, make sure you call for help immediately and don't try to fix things yourself unless you know what you're doing, as this could worsen matters.
Stay Alert and Follow Traffic Laws
No matter how good your car is, you can still be involved in an accident if you're not paying full attention to the road. Stay alert by taking regular breaks and switching drivers when needed. Don't drive while tired, stay within the speed limit, and always wear your seatbelt – it could save your life.
Often the department of transportation will instate situation-specific laws that you are still required to abide by in treacherous weather. Such as regulations on traction tires and chains when traversing snowy passes.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
It goes without saying that when you're driving on unfamiliar roads, you must pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Always keep your eyes open for things like potholes or debris on the road that can cause damage to your vehicle or even cause an accident if not avoided.
Also, watch out for other drivers who may not be following the rules of the road – always give yourself plenty of space between cars so that if someone else makes a mistake there will be enough room for you to react safely without putting yourself at risk of being involved in an accident.
Communicate with Your Loved Ones
Let your friends and family know when you leave, the route you're taking, and how long you expect it to take with the current weather. If the roads are worse than you thought, and you end up stranded, your loved ones can start the search to find and rescue you sooner if they know about where you'll be. Keep your phone on the charger, even if you don't have reception, as you may be able to get emergency alerts even without full data support.
Preventions and Awareness Saves Lives
Following these simple tips, you should have no problem avoiding any potential car accidents this holiday season! Remember – safety first! So buckle up and enjoy a safe and happy holiday road trip with family and friends!
If you've got the opportunity before your travels, invest your time and money into a defensive driving course focusing on the weather conditions you're likely to drive in during the holidays. always remember that slow is steady, and steady is fast. It doesn't matter how much time you save if you end up in a ditch.