Holiday celebrations can be happy and exciting times for friends and family. Many people travel during the holiday season, looking forward to visiting with family and friends who live long distances away. Unfortunately, the holiday season has a high incidence of traffic accidents, turning a celebration into a tragedy if people are injured or killed. During the holiday season, all motorists should be aware of the increased traffic, and holiday travelers should follow proper safety precautions to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Drivers should be mindful of these holiday travel tips to protect themselves, their passengers, and the occupants of other drivers.
- Leave early. By allowing yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, you can drive at safer speeds, take adequate rest breaks, and keep your stress levels down. Without enough stops, drivers can become overly tired or distracted and cause an accident and a result.
- Avoid peak travel dates if possible. The day before a holiday is usually the day most people travel. Sometimes you can avoid traffic conditions by traveling on the holiday itself or by planning your family celebrations on other days.
- Before you leave, check the condition of your car, including your tire pressure, oil, and lights. Carry spare and emergency equipment with you. Always have a spare tire, jumper cables, a jack, and emergency equipment such as road flares and extra blankets in case of an accident.
- Keep your passengers safe. Make sure everyone is buckled up properly with seat belts and child restraint or booster seats.
- Plan out a route with alternatives. Get directions in advance, with alternative routes in mind in case of bad weather or traffic congestion. Expect traffic near large cities.
- Inquire about weather conditions and construction on highways from friends and relatives. Listen to local radio stations for indications of adverse weather.
- Hide any sort of gift or present during stops. Brightly colored packaging during the holidays invites thieves to break into your vehicle.
- Keep distractions to a minimum. Provide children with plenty of their own distractions, and always pull off the road to use your cell phone.
- Don't drink and drive. Always have a designated driver if there will be drinking at your holiday celebration.
By following these safety precautions, you can make the holidays a little safer for everyone and avoid a tragic traffic accident.
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