There’s so much to love about the holidays! Truly there is. There’s the smell of fresh cut evergreens. There’s the twinkling lights that illuminate our homes and streets. There’s the opportunity to sink out teeth into some tasty treats fresh out of the oven. Then there’s seeing our children’s face light up with excitement come Christmas morning.
The holidays are meant to be a time for peace, reflection, celebration, and most importantly; togetherness. Which brings us to one of my favorite things about the holidays – the opportunity to pack the car and head our to share in the holiday with dear friends and family.
Getting there, however, can cause the best of us to stress as we to navigate our way through holiday traffic. Thanks to the following Holiday Travel Safety Tips, you too can enjoy spending time with those closest to you this holiday, while avoiding the many of the stressors associated with holiday travel.
#1. Make Sure Your Car’s Ready for Winter Travel
Please don’t go anywhere in your car, unless you’ve thoroughly ensured it’s ready for winter travel, as far too many cars go off the road every winter due to driver negligence. The lights, oil, tires, belts and hoses, brake and power steering fluid, antifreeze, battery, and snow chains should all be given the green flag by a professional mechanic before hitting the open road.
#2. Don’t Get Stranded on the Side of the Road
If you will be traveling quite a distance this holiday season, it is very important that you keep your smart phone fully charged, and loaded with helpful travel apps (e.g. Google Maps, Waze, Gasbuddy, Hotel Tonight, iExit Interstate Exit Guide, and more are all great apps). It would be wise to have a phone charger in your car; in the event you need to recharge your phone as it is a necessary component of winter travel.
#3. Pack an Emergency Road Side Assistance Kit
You should never leave home without an emergency road side assistance kit – especially in the winter. These are so simple to put together. Make sure you have items such as a flash light, flare, gloves, extra blankets, jumper cables, an emergency cell phone, and food/water. Prepare your kit as if you could be stranded for a few days as it’s always better to have more than to risk running out.
#4. Don’t Leave Your Pets in the Car
You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving your pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather can be equally dangerous to your beloved pet’s health. If Fido is joining you on your journey, don’t leave them in your car, not only for a moment. Just like people, pet’s are at risk of hypothermia, frost bite, and even death in extreme conditions. Don’t risk their health; bring them inside.
#5. Tell Someone Where You’re Going
One rule of thumb when traveling, no matter the weather, is to always tell someone where you’re headed. Include your chosen route. A quick text before you start driving, to a close friend or relative, is all it takes to let someone know what way you’re headed. If something were to happen, at least your contact will have an idea of where you were headed. This information could mean all the difference in the world.
#6. Stay Focused
Traveling in cold, icy, and/or snowy conditions are dangerous. That’s why it’s vital that you stay focused on the road. This means NO texting and driving, eating and driving, or looking becoming distracted by the kids and driving. If you find it necessary to do any of these, safely exit the road. Staying focused on the road ahead could save your life. If you get tired while driving, always pull off the road to take a power nap, or grab some coffee.
From your friends at Hegarty-Haynes Insurance, Inc., we want to wish you a very happy and safe holiday season!