Safety Tips for Holiday Traveling

Safety Tips for Holiday Traveling

Millions of people take to the roadways during holiday weekends. Freeways are jammed by families and friends often driving long distances to meet relatives and others. According to AAA, there are about 95 million people on the roads during the Christmas and New Years’ season. Whether it is the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, you can expect that there will be delays caused by accidents or breakdowns.

Traffic fatalities peak during holidays owing to the sheer numbers of cars on the roadways that also increases the percentage of drivers who are inexperienced, fatigued, under the influence or distracted.

According to the National Safety Council, the 5 most dangerous holidays for drivers are the following:

1New Years’ Day
2Labor Day
4Memorial Day
5Independence Day

With this in mind, here are 9 safety tips to follow before hitting the road.

Safety Measures During the Holidays

Secure your house. Be sure all appliances are off, doors and windows are locked and valuables secured away. Leave some lights on at night to give the appearance you are at home. Let a neighbor know you will be gone and to look out for people who are outside your home while you are gone.
Perform a vehicle check. This includes tires, oil, windshield wipers and fluid, battery, steering and brakes. If driving in winter, snow tires or chains may need to be taken. Have a mechanic do a checkup and take care of any possible malfunctions. If your tires are worn, consider buying new ones.
Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue is a major cause of car accidents. Having another driver with you on long trips helps relieve the pressure of driving for hours on end. Take meal breaks along the way and do not hesitate to let someone else drive or to spend the night in a motel. Do not pull over to the side of the road to nap as you are a target for cars veering off the road or for thieves.
Give yourself plenty of time to arrive. Being in a rush will only lead to poor decisions, speeding and not taking needed rest and meal breaks.
Avoid driving late at night. There are more intoxicated and fatigued drivers on the road at night and you may fail to see hazards in the roadways.
Be prepared for delays or breakdowns. Carry water, food, blankets, coats and a flashlight in case a blizzard hits or other weather causes you to be stranded.
Avoid road rage. There are always idiots on the roadway who drive erratically, cut you off and do not care about lights or signs. Ignore them and drive defensively.
Do not leave valuables in plain sight in your car. Thieves are on the lookout during these times for computers, cell phones and other items left in your car. It only takes seconds for an experienced thief to break your window or open your car.
If you have time, visit an historical site or eat at a local restaurant. You can find these easily on the internet and you may not have the opportunity to do it again. It will be relaxing and can offer a much needed respite from an otherwise exhausting trip.

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