The winter holidays are some of the busiest travel days of the year. Hundreds of thousands of people hit the road to visit friends and family. In some cases, they are only going a few miles. In others, they are traveling across several states.
Holiday travel can be a stressful experience, especially if you have a long way to go. No matter how far you are traveling, though, it is important to travel safely. Your goal is to get where you are going so that you can enjoy the holidays, so avoid taking unnecessary risks. Follow these holiday travel tips when you hit the road this year.
Prepare Your Vehicle
Before you leave on your trip, make sure that your vehicle is in good working condition. Have the oil changed and air up the tires. Top off the windshield washer fluid and make sure you have antifreeze in the radiator, especially if you are traveling to a cold climate. If your vehicle has been having issues, consult with a mechanic before you leave to make sure you won’t break down on the road.
Plan Your Route
Consult a map before you leave and plan out a detailed driving route. The shortest route may not necessarily be the fastest or safest, so investigate alternate routes. It is always a good idea to have a paper copy of your directions in case your phone runs out of batteries or your GPS malfunctions. Also, check the weather along your route before you leave so you will be prepared for storms.
Follow the Speed Limit
In addition to being unsafe, speeding can get you a ticket, which is both time-consuming and frustrating. Obey all posted speed limits, and keep in mind that increased congestion may force you to drive below the speed limit.
Take Time for Rest
Get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave, and take frequent breaks along the way. Getting out of the car to stretch your legs, use the bathroom and grab a snack can improve your mood and help you drive safer. A good policy is to stop every 100 miles or two hours.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Keep a blanket, a pair of gloves and a flashlight in the trunk of your car in case your vehicle becomes disabled for some reason. You may also want to bring along a bag of kitty litter to help your vehicle get traction in icy conditions. If you know that your vehicle leaks fluids, make sure that you carry extras with you. Do not let your gas tank get below half full to avoid frozen fuel lines and the risk of running out of gas.
Holiday travel can be a difficult experience, and if you are traveling with children, lots of luggage and possibly even pets, it can fray your nerves. A bad mood leads to reckless driving and irrational decision making. Make sure to stay calm, and if you feel the need to stop, do not hesitate to do so.
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Highway_50_westbound,_West_of_Eureka,_NV.jpg
Original Source: http://blog.petroledsigns.com/traveling-tips/getting-home-holidays-safely