Traveling Safely After the Holidays

Many people drive to visit friends and family around the holidays. The trip there is filled with excitement and anticipation, but the trip home may be a little more stressful. Contending with cranky kids, restless pets, heaps of presents, and tight schedules can make for a tense environment inside of the car. When you compound that with winter weather, increased traffic, and other frazzled drivers, the situation on the road can be a delicate one.

You can have a more comfortable trip home, and avoid delays and accidents, if you simply commit to traveling safely. The way you travel affects things both inside and outside of the car. On your trip home this holiday season, make sure you follow these common sense tips.

Regulate Your Speed

When you are eager to get home it can be difficult not to race down the road. But for the safety of your passengers, and out of courtesy to other drivers, watch your speed. Due to holiday shoppers and travelers, traffic is significantly heavier in the days after Christmas. Maintaining the speed limit, or even driving below it, can help you react to unforeseen difficulties on the road. Avoiding speeding can also help you to save gas.

Don’t Gamble with Winter Weather

Some people travel from warm climates to colder climates to celebrate Christmas. If you are unused to driving in snow, sleet, hail, or winter fog, do not try to hone your skills in the days after Christmas. If necessary, postpone your trip back until the weather clears. If you must travel, try to plan a route that avoids small roads and steep inclines. And if you have to travel through the worst of it, go slowly, and pull off the road whenever you need too.

Stay Calm

As we mentioned before, the trip home can be stressful. If you are thinking about crying kids, holiday bills, or the job you have to begrudgingly return to, you cannot focus completely on the road. It is scientifically proven that stress compromises your ability to drive. Be sure to stay calm, alert, and focused on what matters most; the road.

Stop Strategically

Thieves often prey on holiday travelers whose cars are filled with gifts. When you stop, make sure that you go to a reputable looking gas station that is properly illuminated. Give yourself options by stopping often so that you do not have to settle for the first gas available. Park your vehicle in a visible location, and keep the doors locked when you exit. Also, be sure to stop whenever you feel fatigued, stressed out, or urgent for a bathroom.

With some patience and planning, you can make it home after the holidays with your sanity in tact. You have probably seen how many crazy drivers there are on the road after Christmas. Don’t be one yourself. Drive smart, and make it easier on everyone.

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