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Safety Tips for Holiday Road Trips


The holiday season is around the corner. After a couple of hard years of isolated festivities, it is time to prepare for the annual road trip to finally visits the ones you love.

A good road trip can be fun and exciting. It can bring about many moments to cherish, especially when the trip is stress-free. But road trips come with risks. Whether you are hauling up the coast or inland to spend quality time with buddies, always prioritize safety.

Here are the best holiday travel safety tips to consider before hitting the road.

1. Plan ahead

Prior planning involves giving your car a comprehensive inspection. Car issues are common for travelers during holidays, especially if you have to deal with slick roads or snowfall. 

First, inspect the coolant fluid levels, brakes, and signal lights. Ensure tires are correctly inflated, and headlights are fully operational. Bring your vehicle to a mechanic for inspection if you have no idea how to handle these yourself.

Does your car have a spare tire? What about a carjack? Ensure to include these essentials, too. The last thing you may want is to end up stuck on the highway instead of tucked under a throw blanket enjoying a hot coffee or cocoa.

2. Pack an emergency first-aid kit

Emergencies happen when we least expect them. So, pack one for peace of mind. Ensure it is stocked with all the essentials, including a flashlight, reflective safety cone, jumper cables, and more. Also, you can include some extras like hand warmers, duvets, gloves, and beanies to help you stay warm during cold weather conditions.

3. Plan your route

Proper planning means you are well prepared for whatever may occur during the trip. Check the weather forecast. Know the alternative routes, too. Things like maps or GPS can help in case you get off the track. One thing many drivers take for granted is marking rest stops, hotels, or restaurants. Knowing just some of these locations ahead of time can save you time and trouble when you need them. 

4. Leave earlier

Road trips are like shopping excursions. So, wake up earlier to avoid traffic. It is a better way to ensure you arrive on time. Leaving earlier will also help you minimize the hustle and bustle of holidays. Instead of taking the rushed approach, allow yourself the freedom of a leisurely, stress-free ride. 

5. Pay attention to your speed

Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents in the USA, killing an average of 30 people per day. So, prioritize your time and distance properly to react to the traffic around you.

The holiday season is also high time for highway patrols. So, pay attention to speed traps. It is a good idea to follow the posted speed limit to ensure your safety and that of those around you.

On harsh roads, give yourself some time to reach your destination. Reduce your speed as required. Allow distance behind other vehicles so you can brake well and stay safe on the road.

6. Sleep enough

Ensure you receive a quality night's sleep before embarking on your holiday road trip. Not getting good sleep can negatively affect your driving skills. Inadequate sleep can also exhaust you, reducing your reaction time on the highway.

Take sufficient rest at stops (per your planning tip, above), especially during prolonged driving time. If you realize your concentration is slipping, take a break. Get out of your car, stretch, and take a deep breath.

Drowsy drivers cause more than 16,000 daily accidents on American roads. So, stopping for a couple of minutes can keep your energy high. Take turns with a friend or partner where possible, especially when driving long distances.

7. Minimize electronic usage

Focus on your driving and leave your mobile phone alone. It can distract you from concentrating on your ride. Take your tablet or cell phone solely as a stationary activity. When driving, focusing on the road is your top priority. Assign your passengers tasks such as designated navigator or playlist DJ.  

8. Respect the weather

It is no surprise that weather can change and create hazards. It takes less than an inch of water create hydroplane conditions. Drive slowly whenever road conditions change. Use fog lights and low beams when the weather doesn't for highbeams and running lights.

9. Don't remove your safety belt

The rule of thumb is always wear a safety belt while driving. Never remove a seat belt, even if you are driving for a short distance. Thousands of Americans are killed, and millions are injured yearly due to unbuckled seatbelts. Ensure you have put it on and make people around you do the same.

10. Secure your house and the car

The holiday season is the best time to have fun, give gifts, and more. But unfortunately, this is also an ideal time when burglars will break into your home and car, looking for expensive items. As a safety precaution, always confirm if you locked your doors well before leaving your house. It is wise if you hide or lock away your valuables.

Play it smart and install a car alarm. It will alert you if someone tries to break into your vehicle.

11. Protect children

With schooling getting closed, paying attention to kids riding bicycles and playing on the streets is crucial. Children also need protection even when traveling. The American Academy of Pediatrics has outlined safety guides for kids traveling in vehicles.

12. Get prepared emotionally

Many drivers make wrong decisions when driving, especially during long trips. Stay calm can and avoid road rage. It is a valuable driving skill that can preserve the safety of everyone on board.

13. Ensure you have a travelers insurance cover

Lastly, get yourself a travel insurance coverage plan. It will compensate for accidents and other travel-related risks that may arise during the trip.

Renting a car? You can have rental reimbursement insurance to cover the costs of your car in case of an accident. Make sure you know what the rental insurance provides prior to heading out. The last thing you want is to find out that you’re not covered for the incident your facing. 

Wrapping up

Enjoyable road trips are a mix of thrill and responsibility. With prior planning, safe driving protocol, and taking your time when out on the roads, you can make your holiday season safe and memorable for years to come.

Road Trip, Safety, How do I plan for a safe and fun road trip during the holidays? Travel, Automotive Tips


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