With the holidays just around the corner, millions of families are hitting the road to visit friends or relatives. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for travel, and while ten percent of travelers reach their destination by air, 90 percent hop in the car and drive.
Holiday road trips are a great time to engage in a little family bonding, but it can also be stressful and dangerous.
Here are some tips to ensure a smooth trip and how to keep you and your family safer while sharing the roadways with millions of other holiday travelers.
Prepare For Weather
Even if you live in a part of the country that doesn’t typically get ice and snow, you might be traveling to an area where winter weather is more likely. Don’t forget to pack your winter gear like boots and jackets and a winter weather emergency kit.
Holiday season travel is also a great time to make sure your tires your road-ready and can handle any weather that might come your way.
SEE ALSO: 15 Essential Winter Driving Tips
Get a Tune-Up
It’s never convenient to have car troubles and break down on the side of the road, but it’s even worse when you’re traveling for the holidays. Car repairs may end up being more costly because you might have trouble finding a mechanic who can work during the holidays.
It’s impossible to determine whether or not you’ll have car issues, but one way to reduce the chance of a breakdown is to get a tune-up. Have your trusted mechanic check the oil, rotate tires, and top your fluids.
SEE ALSO: 4 Tips You Need for Buying Your Next Car
Reduce Your Distractions
When you’re traveling with family, it may feel like distractions are nearly impossible to avoid, but there are ways to eliminate distractions while driving and reduce the chance of a distracted driving-related accident.
- Ask your passengers to be quiet, especially during heavy traffic
- Stop to eat rather than eat while driving
- Check out your GPS before you drive
- Put your passengers in charge of certain tasks like texting or looking at directions
SEE ALSO: Tips to Reduce Distracted Driving
Keep an Eye Out for Dangerous Drivers
Traveling during the holidays means more traffic, which inevitably leads to a higher number of careless drivers on the road. The holiday season is also a popular time for holiday parties, dinners, and other events where drinking might occur.
Never drive while under the influence of alcohol and watch out for drunk drivers. If you notice someone swerving in and out of lanes, erratic braking, and other reckless behaviors. Even though the driver may not be drunk, they are not being safe. The best thing to do is to keep your distance, try to get information about the vehicle, and then call 911 (after you pull over or have someone else in the car call).
If you have a teen driver in your family, road trips are a great opportunity to practice driving but make sure they know how to drive defensively and how to navigate in heavy traffic.
SEE ALSO: How to Teach a Teen to Drive