Hitting the Road: Traveling Safely
This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.
When you hit the highway this holiday season, remember that along with the usual holiday stresses
comes the added load of traffic woes. To avoid the pitfalls of holiday driving, take a look at these handy holiday travel safety tips.
Allow extra time in your schedule. The heaviest travel occurs the days immediately before and after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Consider taking an extra day off so that you aren't stuck in the pack. Also, give yourself a break from holiday stress by getting the bulk of your shopping done well before the holiday.
Make sure that your car is well-equipped for travel. It's a good idea to take your car in for a winter check-up. Your mechanic can inspect your anti-freeze, battery, windshield wipers, and other cold-weather components. Be sure that your tire pressure is at recommended levels, as improperly filled tires can be hazardous in wet weather.
Carry equipment for on-the-road emergencies. If you're traveling in bad weather or in snow country, you'll want to prepare for problems by packing flares, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlight, water and snacks. It's useful to have a shovel to dig out your wheels in case you get stuck, and a bag of kitty litter to pour under the wheels for traction. Also remember to pack the cell phone for emergencies, but be prudent about using it while driving in holiday traffic or in bad weather.
Drive responsibly. A defensive approach pays off in the long run. Don't drink and drive, and be aware of your physical and legal limits and the potential dangers of intoxicated driving. To avoid other drivers who may have celebrated too much, stay off the roads at high-risk times, such as after nightfall on New Year's Eve.
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Last reviewed on Dec 19, 2003