It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the hap-hap-happiest season of all! But if you’re not five years old, then you you know you have to pay attention to the best holiday travel tips. And there are things to consider whether you’re in a cold region or not. No matter what, the traffic will be heavy and the distances will be great, so please make sure that you are taking the right precautions to get to see those who are most important to you this holiday season.
Get Your Car Tuned Up
This is especially important for winter driving conditions. Any foul up can leave you stranded on the side of a snow-packed road hoping passersby see your hazards while you try to assess your situation.
- Inspect your tire tread
- Rotate your tires
- Check your oil and fluids
- Test your battery
- Align your wheels
Performing basic maintenance on your car will give you a better chance of getting to grandma’s safe and on time.
If you live where the weather gets below 45°F, you should really consider utilizing winter tires. Winter driving during the holidays requires excellent tires that stay flexible at 45°F or below. Other tires harden and reduce your traction. The flexibility allows more of your tire to come in contact with the road, providing more grip and making handling, turning, and stopping easier in harsh conditions like snow and freezing rain.
If you drive in a warmer climate, but experience rain, tread depth makes all the difference. On worn tires, it can take up to ten car lengths longer to stop in wet conditions. So be sure you’re riding on tires that are ready to take on the road this holiday season.
Mind Your Hours
Stay alert when driving! Drowsy driving is as dangerous as any other kind of impaired driving but precise statistical accounts cannot be reached accurately. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that researchers use various methods to estimate crash reports based on drowsy driving. In 2014, they concluded that 846 fatalities occurred related to drowsy driving. They use a fancy mathematical method far beyond my comprehension to estimate that 7% of all crashes and 16.5% of fatal crashes involve drowsy driving. So change drivers often! Switch every two hours so that neither driver becomes dangerously exhausted.
Know Your Route
Have a strategy. You can help yourself avoid rush hour times around larger populated areas. If you’re making longer trips through multiple states, pay attention to rush hour times so you can circumvent heavily trafficked areas. Also make sure to visit the Department of Transportation’s web page for each state’s traffic volume trends and road condition updates.
Don’t Drink & Drive
This rule is as simple as it gets. You don’t need any fancy statistics. You don’t need someone to tell you. It’s clear as crystal; don’t drink and drive. Most holiday parties offer alcoholic beverages so people can unwind and enjoy the company of friends and family. So please designate a driver who will remain alcohol-free and get everyone home safe and sound.
Be cool this winter and make sure you get to where you want to go safely and on time!