The holiday season is upon us, and for millions of Americans, that means holiday weekend traveling. The holiday season has some unique risks for travelers who are driving to visit loved ones. These risks include:
"¢ Changing weather conditions
"¢ Limited daylight
"¢ Driving in unfamiliar locations
"¢ Frustration due to congestion
To make sure that you and your family get where you need to go this holiday season, consider these holiday weekend road safety tips.
Do a Maintenance Check
Before hitting the road, make sure your vehicle is in proper working order. Check the following before you leave:
"¢ Tire pressure and tread
"¢ Wiper blades and fluid
"¢ Test your battery
"¢ Check all lights and signals
Prepare an Emergency Kit
With an additional 50 million people on the road during the holidays, you may find yourself stuck in traffic. Or worse, if your vehicle has a problem, it could take time before a tow truck or roadside service reaches you. Prepare ahead by packing an emergency kit complete with:
"¢ Gloves and warm clothing
"¢ A first aid kid
"¢ Flashlight with batteries
"¢ Road flares
"¢ Drinking water and nonperishable snacks
"¢ Basic tools
"¢ Small shovel
Avoid Driving in Peak Hours
According to Google Travel, the worst time to travel for Thanksgiving is the day before (Wednesday) and the Sunday after. During these peak hours, traffic snarls are unavoidable.
Plan for Breaks
If you are traveling a long distance, plan your route where you can take breaks periodically. Taking a break or switching drivers every few hours can reduce the chance of frustration and fatigue. When driving is monotonous, distractions and sleepiness can quickly become a hazard.
While it might be difficult to focus on being thankful while stuck in traffic, remember to be courteous to other drivers. Allow extra room for large trucks, and avoid tailgating other drivers. Always use your turn signals yield to vehicles with the right of way.