Along with Christmas and the winter holiday season comes the tradition of traveling to see family and friends. Whether you are traveling several hours or only a few minutes, adverse weather conditions and increased traffic can create make travel riskier than normal.
By practicing the following safe driving tips, you can help ensure you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and happy holiday.
Before traveling, take the time to fully inspect your vehicle. This includes making sure your lights are in working order, your tires are properly inflated and in good condition, your windshield wipers are operational and in good condition, and that there is enough wiper fluid in your vehicle.
Driver fatigue is dangerous – combine it with the other hazards that come with holiday travels and it can quickly become deadly. Not getting enough sleep can impact your motor skills and reaction time. Being well-rested will allow you to remain alert over the course of your trip. If you find your concentration slipping, take a break or consider allowing a passenger to take over driving duties for a while.
Map out and become familiar with your route ahead of time. Congested roadways could mean you have to prepare for lane changes and exits much earlier than usual. Being unprepared can add unnecessary stress and increase the risk of collision. Also take into account local traffic and weather reports when planning your route.
Be sure you are ready for any potential emergencies. Store coats and blankets as well as water and food in case your vehicle stalls on an empty stretch of road and pack first aid kits and traffic signals in case you are involved in a collision.
Avoid anything that distracts you from driving. This includes electronic devices like cell phones, GPSs, and even the radio. You should also avoid eating while driving, applying makeup, or allowing a passenger to divert your full attention from the task at hand.
Speeding is the most common cause of automobile accidents and becomes especially dangerous when combined with increased traffic and poor weather conditions. Be sure to slow down for inclement weather, road construction, and heavy traffic.
This is self-explanatory. When you drive under the influence, you are putting yourself, your passenger, and everyone else on the road at risk. Don’t do it.
Seatbelts greatly reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of a collision. Make sure everyone in your vehicle is making proper use of these essential safety devices.