Safe Driving Tips for Holiday Travel
The holidays are just around the corner, and this is the time of year when people are out and about to go shopping, attend holiday gatherings, and visit with loved ones. This year will be different because of COVID-19, and it is likely that some who would normally be out during this time of year will choose to stay home. Perhaps some families will do virtual visits instead of getting together in person.
If you are one of those who has decided to travel to see relatives or friends during this holiday season, there are still likely to be millions of others doing the same thing you are. And if you are taking a road trip, expect heavy traffic in some areas, and allow yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
Here are some other important tips for those taking holiday road trips this year:
Get Your Vehicle Ready for the Trip
Make sure your car is ready to take a lengthy road trip. Take it into a mechanic and have them check over all of the important areas. These may include:
- A battery and alternator test.
- Changing the oil and topping off all of the other fluids.
- Properly inflating the tires and checking their tread depth.
- Checking the wiper blades to ensure that they are not worn or damaged.
- Inspecting the brakes to make sure there is plenty of wear left on the pads.
- Changing the spark plugs and performing a tune-up on the vehicle.
- Making any repairs that the mechanic recommends.
- Cleaning out the car and reducing the clutter inside.
Prepare for Emergencies
Put together an emergency kit in the event that you are stranded somewhere along the roadway. Your kit should include some basic supplies, such as:
- A first-aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Road flares
- Flashlights with backup batteries
- Snacks and drinking water
- A functional spare tire
You should also make sure you have emergency roadside assistance either through your auto insurer or an outside service such as AAA. Write down the phone number for emergency assistance and put it in a safe place. You may also want to load the phone number into the contact list on your cell phone.
Plan your Route Ahead of Time
Before you start out on a trip, it is always a good idea to have your route planned out and know where you will be traveling. Decide who else will be driving besides yourself and plan out a driving schedule. Also decide who will be in charge of navigating and handling the phone. This of course should not be the driver. Finally, inform others of your travel plans before you leave.
Be Aware of Inclement Weather
As the day of travel approaches, monitor the weather reports in the areas in which you are going to be traveling. Be on the lookout for heavy rain, winds, ice, sleet, and snow in the forecast. If it looks like you are going to be going through dangerous weather conditions, plan alternative routes that will allow you to avoid these conditions as much as possible. In some extreme cases, you might want to consider canceling or postponing the trip.
Be Well Rested before Driving
Before driving for a significant distance, you should always have plenty of rest the night before. If you try to drive on too little amount of sleep, you run the risk of getting drowsy or sleepy behind the wheel, something that could result in disastrous consequences. For the average adult, it is best to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep before driving.
Stay Safe during Stops
Along the way, you will be making several stops for fuel, food, and restroom breaks. During the holiday season, the places you stop at your likely to be very busy with lots of people passing through. This means you need to be especially careful around surfaces that have been touched by numerous others.
Whenever you stop, be sure to follow all of the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC. These include wearing face coverings in public places, distancing, washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and using plenty of hand sanitizer. Remember that the holiday season is also peak flu season in most places, so COVID-19 is not the only illness you need to watch out for.
Injured in a Vehicle Accident During the Holidays? Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer
Even if you have done your best to stay safe, accidents are sometimes unavoidable, and they are often caused by the negligence of others. If you or a loved one got injured in an accident this holiday season, M. Adam Jones and Associates is here to help.
Message us online or call our office today to schedule free consultation and case assessment. We look forward to serving you!
- Adam Jones,
- Adam Jones & Associates, LLC
206 N. Lena St.
Dothan, AL 36303