Are you and your family planning to drive to a holiday get-together this year?
Whether you’re heading to Grandma’s cottage or a favorite vacation spot to celebrate holidays with family or friends, we have some simple tips to help make your drive a smooth one so you can arrive at your destination safely and without incident. Unfortunately, get-togethers with family and friends can turn into tragedies when people are killed or injured in traffic crashes.
Restrain yourself and your passengers properly in seat belts and car safety seats. Remember, the rear seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride.
Have your car seat inspected by a trained technician to ensure it is installed correctly prior to your road trip.
Be sure that your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
Keep anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated.
If you are a parent travelling with your children, make sure you have plenty for them to do while correctly restrained in their car seat.
Have roadside assistance contact information on hand in case an incident occurs on the road.
In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times.
Make sure your children know their home address and telephone number. Show them where to go in the airport if you get separated and review the procedure for dealing with strangers.
Give a family member or friend your travel itinerary and the contact information for your hotel.
Stay fresh and alert when driving. Take plenty of breaks and do not push yourself to meet an unrealistic schedule. If you get tired, pull off the road into a rest area or a safe location, get out of the car for some fresh air, buy something to refresh you, or just relax until you feel revived. If that doesn’t work, find a motel or campground where you can spend the night.
Forty-one percent of fatal traffic accidents are single-vehicle crashes. These crashes most often occur during the late night and early morning hours as well as the late afternoon hours to drivers who are tired, have consumed alcohol, or both.
With a little preparation, you can leave the road trip stress at home and enjoy your holiday with family and friends.