Tips to Drive Safely During the Holiday Season
As the holiday season fast approaches, you need to be well prepared for the rush and congestion of holiday traffic. Whether you’ll be traveling for several hours to spend time with relatives or just driving across town to meet nearby family and friends, it’s important to prioritize your safety on the road.
Most road accidents that happen during the holiday season are due to a lack of proper preparation. A lot goes into preparing for a road trip, including checking your vehicle’s condition, ensuring your auto insurance is valid, and understanding the route you will be using. In this article, we’ll give you some simple tips on how to drive safely during the holiday season.
Tips to Make Your Holiday Road Trips Safe and Fun
Inspect Your Vehicle
Before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is in the right condition to make the journey, no matter how short or long the trip is. This means taking your vehicle to a professional auto mechanic for full inspection well before your intended departure date so that you’ll have time to fix any unexpected issues that might come up. The inspection should include checking the vehicle’s lights, tires, brakes, windshield wipers, oil, and engine.
Also, make sure your vehicle has enough wiper fluid for the road trip. You should also have an extra bottle of engine oil in your trunk in case you have any sudden issues with leaking oil while you’re driving since an unexpected oil leak can bring your trip to a halt.
Check Your Vehicle Insurance
As you plan your trip, don’t forget to double-check that your auto insurance is up to date. Although it’s always good to hope for the best on a holiday trip, you can’t predict what will happen along the way. You might be involved in a road accident, your car might be stolen, or it accidentally damaged by strong winds or extreme weather.
But these risks shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your long-awaited adventure. Just make sure your vehicle is fully insured. Then you will have peace of mind knowing that you and your loved ones are safe. Checking your current auto insurance policy is as simple as log-in onto your insurance provider’s website. They’ll have all the details readily available.
Avoid Exorbitant Fuel Prices
Holiday seasons often come with increased fuel prices. So if you are planning to drive a lot during the holiday season, you should keep an eye out for the gas stations that offer low fuel prices, and fill up when you see them. It can also be a great idea to fill your gas tank a week before the start of the holiday, that way you get your gas before prices increase. This can save you a lot of money, especially if you are going on a long road trip.
Keep an Eye Out for Speed Traps
Holiday seasons are prime time for highway patrols looking to issue tickets, as police officers will often set up speed traps in an attempt to slow down road trippers and frantic holiday shoppers. It’s best to adhere to the set speed limits, even if you’re feeling the rush to get somewhere faster. This not only keeps you safe on the road but also ensures that you do not put other drivers at risk. But if you often find yourself speeding without realizing it, there are several speed detectors that you can install in your vehicle to get real-time alerts when you approach a speed trap on the highway.
If you are going on a long road trip and you are the only driver, it is important to get enough rest along the way. It is also important to get enough sleep each night during your drive, as a lack of sleep can negatively impact your driving skills and slow your reaction time in an emergency. So if you feel like your concentration is fading, pull over and rest.
Plan Your Route Well
Before you venture out on a road trip, make sure you fully understand the route you will be taking. This means doing extensive research on the condition of the roads, local traffic, available gas stations, hospitals in case of an emergency, accommodation, eateries, etc. It is also important to know if the route is safe to drive at night. Don’t forget to grab a map or a GPS to help you find directions in case you get lost, or your phone dies unexpectedly.
Prepare for Emergencies
When you head out on a family road trip, it is impossible to predict what lies ahead. Therefore, you need to be fully prepared for any emergencies along the way. For instance, you should make sure you’ve got a spare tire and everything you need to change a flat, in case you suddenly find yourself on the shoulder of the freeway with a punctured tire.
Do Not Drink and Drive
For many people, the holidays are a perfect time to relax and enjoy yourself with family and friends, which often means food and drinks. But it’s never a good idea to sit behind the wheel of a car if you have had alcohol. Drinking under the influence of alcohol or any other substance puts you and other drivers at risk. If you know that you’re likely to have one or two drinks, then plan ahead who will be the designated driver or have the number on hand to order a cab or Uber.
Small, avoidable distractions are unfortunately a major cause of auto accidents. That’s why you should never use your cellphone while driving. You should also avoid messing with the radio or searching for an item in the back seat. All these small actions put you and other drivers at risk since an accident can occur in mere seconds, so always pay full attention while driving. If you really need to take that phone call, it’s best to pull over, park, and then talk.
The holiday season can be stressful enough, so there’s no need to add to your stress levels with an unexp[ected auto accident. While you can never fully eliminate the possibility of an accident, the tips we’ve given you above should help reduce the chance of it occurring. We wish you the best this holiday season and safe driving wherever your travels may take you.