Millions more people hit the roads during the holidays than usual. This makes it even more important to think about safety. At the same time, you can make traveling more fun. Here are some tips to ensure everyone gets to their destination to enjoy the holidays.
First, you want to prep for safety. If driving long distances, don’t forget:
- Vehicle maintenance: Check the tire pressure, brakes, and coolant levels and get an oil change if necessary. The window washer fluid tank should be full. If your car is dirty, get an exterior and interior wash so everything is fresh when you go.
- Check the weather: If you’ll be driving through colder climates, check on the weather forecast and road conditions ahead of time. Just a small amount of snow and ice can make travel dangerous.
- Be prepared: Take along blankets, hand warmers, and extra water in case there are delays or you get stuck somewhere. It’s a good idea to have a window scraper, plus a booster cable and flares—just in case.
- Use a hands-free device: Connect your mobile phone to your Bluetooth or other system for hands-free talking. That way, you can have both hands on the wheel at all times. If not, pull over before making a call or answering the phone.
- Drive safely: Avoid speeding, don’t drink and drive, and take regular breaks every two or three hours, and even more frequently if it is snowing. Driver fatigue is a leading cause of accidents. Also, always have your seatbelt on (and make sure everyone does) and try not to overeat, which can make you tired.
Long drives can be tedious, especially for young children. Make sure you have fun things for them to do, such as activity books, drawing pads, or video games. And for everyone:
- Have all the essentials: Bring some snacks like pretzels or nutrition bars. A small trashcan with a plastic liner will help to stay clean. Also, make sure a first aid kit is handy and you have a phone charger. And never leave without a full tank of gas.
- Plan your route: Before you go, have a general idea of where you want to be and when, but keep an open mind. You might decide to stop overnight a little sooner or later than expected. And use digital map tools, which can help map your journey and avoid heavy traffic.
- Wear something comfortable: You don’t need to dress up for a long drive. Wear whatever is comfortable to sit in for a while, but which is appropriate should you decide to stop and walk around. Road trips are more fun when everyone is comfortable.
- Embrace the journey: Pick some roadside attractions that are along your route. They can break up the ride and make the trip itself enjoyable. It is much better to feel refreshed than annoyed and anxious.
- Avoid rush hour: Plan your journey around peak travel days and the times of the day when people are traveling to and from work. Driving during off-peak times can make travel easier, safer, and a lot more fun.
The more prepared you are, the more enjoyable the journey can be. Otherwise, you’ll be desperate to reach your destination and miss out on the fun. Safety should always be your number one priority, so always drive with caution. And, if you’re still shopping around for a vehicle, search our premium inventory of low-mileage, multi-point inspected used cars. Call or visit Hawthorne Auto Square to learn more.