With such a high number of people on the roads during the holiday season, the potential for accidents is huge. On average, over 15,000 people die in motor vehicle accidents this time of the year. Here are a few travel safety tips to ensure a fun and safe trip for you and your family:
- Pre-check your vehicle before hitting the road. Take your car to a mechanic or body shop to before departing on your drive. Have your mechanic perform a “Pre-Trip” check, which includes topping off fluids, checking the brakes, and making sure the tires are ready for your journey. Proper car maintenance can ensure a smooth trip during your travels.
- Plan Your Route. Know your route ahead of time as well as an alternate detour route. Don’t rely on a GPS to get you to your destination, use it as a backup plan instead. Using technology, especially when lost, can be dangerous
- Leave Early or Later. After planning your route, plan the time. It’s best to avoid peak times like morning and evening rush-hour. The fewer people there are on the road, the less likely you are to get in an accident.
- Pack an emergency kit. It’s smart to be prepared with emergency supplies in case of an accident, bad weather, breakdown, or medical emergency. Pack things such as a flashlight, blanket, first-aid kit, tools, and bottled water. A large number of accidents occur when drivers are stranded on the side of the road. Remember to turn your hazards on, pull completely onto the shoulder, and have all occupants exit on the side opposite of oncoming traffic.
- Don’t overload your vehicle. Know your car’s specified weight limited and check the load capacity on the inside of your car door.
- Emergency Contact Numbers. Many roadside assistant companies now have apps that you can download. Also, in case you don’t have service or a cell phone dies, keep a copy of emergency contact numbers in your glove box.
- Rest Stops. Take plenty of stops to hydrate, use the facilities, stretch, and regain alertness. It’s suggested that you make a stop at least every 2 hours.
- Don’t Drive Distracted. Keep yourself focused on the road. Avoid texting or talking on the phone and never drink and drive. Distracted drivers are four times more likely to be in an accident.
- Stay in the Right Lane. Unless you’re passing another vehicle, stay in the right lane to stay safe.