The holiday season is here which means Christmas is right around the corner. With the season brings being able to see your family. In the modern days, the family is spread out across cities, states and even countries. Make sure you are prepared as the driving conditions during this time of year are extra dangerous. According to the National Safety Council, an average of 343 people die in car accidents each year over the three-day Christmas period and an average of 373 during the three-day New Year holiday. Stay safe on the road with these holiday traveling tips:
Check your vehicle maintenance list twice
Make sure you fully inspect your vehicle before leaving the driveway. To start, you want to ensure all your lights are in working order, tires are properly inflated, windshield wipers are operational, and there is enough wiper fluid for the long road ahead. Keep an extra bottle of wiper fluid in the trunk, just in case. Have a qualified technician inspect your car before a hitting the open road, they are trained to look for worn, cracked, blistered or soft belts, hoses, and check your battery. Turn off the engine first when performing this task if you are doing it yourself. Check your tires every month for tread wear. Ensure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated.
Avoid fuel hikes at the pumps
The gas industry raises the prices every holiday season. Filling up earlier in the week or knowing the route with gas stations can come in handy. Make stops every 100 miles or two hours to avoid drowsiness or fatigue while driving. Map your route ahead of time and be prepared for busy roads. Consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
Get a good night’s sleep and avoid fatigue
Make sure you get a full night’s sleep before departing on any major family trips. Not getting enough sleep can negatively impact your motor skills, slowing down your reaction time out on the road. If you find your concentration slipping, take a break, grab a coffee, get out and stretch or go for a brisk walk. When traveling long distances, take turns driving with a passenger. If this is not an option, consider turning the trip from one day to two days, and spend an evening in a hotel to maintain your alertness and energy throughout your trip. Use books, games, DVDs — whatever will keep the kids comfortable and stop them from distracting the driver. Remember, they will need snacks and will need to make stops, so be prepared to spend more time on the road if you’re traveling with children.
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
Gloves, hats, and blankets
Flashlights with fresh batteries and warning flares or triangles
Shop rags or paper towels
Drinking water and nonperishable snack bars
Basic hand tools
Chargers for your phone
Your friends at Blue River Restoration want to wish you Happy Holidays and safe travels.