The holidays are a time of cheer, but they can also be a time for battling traffic and bad weather on the road. Staying safe should be a top priority for all travelers, so Better Business Bureau recommends taking a few precautions when hitting the road this holiday season.
“Make sure your vehicle is ready for the trip,” recommends Tom Bozikis of the Tri-State Better Business Bureau, “proper maintenance and preparation for the unexpected can save a lot of headaches.”
BBB also recommends the following steps for safe driving this holiday season:
Create a car safety kit. Holiday driving often includes the threat of dangerous winter weather. Snow and ice can lead to accidents, car troubles, long delays and road closures. You can prepare for bad weather by creating your own car safety kit. Basics for the kit include blankets, a flashlight with extra batteries, radio, first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, an ice scraper and warm gloves.
Take the car in for a checkup. Breaking down on the side of the road can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. If your car is due for a check up, take it in before making that long haul. At the very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure. Check the condition of your tires and, if you plan on driving through serious winter weather, consider getting snow tires.
Charge your cell phone before you leave and keep a charger in your car. If your cell phone is your only means of communication, it mean little if the battery is dead.
A GPS system or map can come in handy…..since you never know when accidents, weather or construction may necessitate an alternate route.
Start early and slow down. The best way to fight holiday traffic is to give yourself some extra time to make the trip, and don’t speed. Speeding leads to accidents, which slow traffic and cause bottlenecks. Also, if you’re caught speeding by law enforcement, that adds travel time and puts a dent in your holiday spending.
Let friends or family at your destination know the time you plan to arive, the route you plan to take and the vehicle you are driving. This information can prove helpful in locating you should an accident or emergency occur.
Drop the distractions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. When you’re behind the wheel, don’t text and drive, use a hands free headset when talking on the phone, and get someone else to fumble with the GPS or map.