For families who no longer live in the same town or city, the holidays are the perfect time to get together and enjoy some quality family time. Other families make the most of the holiday season by getting out of town and making their way to a resort or other popular holiday spot. No matter your plans this year, it’s always important to pay close attention to the road and the state of your vehicle. Here are some important holiday driving tips.
Inspect your vehicle thoroughly
It’s often best to work according to a list so that you don’t skip a step or miss something. Start by checking your lights, tires, windshield wipers, and all the fluids in your vehicle. It’s also good to keep an extra bottle of wiper fluid in your vehicle just in case.
Fill up the tank
Fuel prices can increase over the holidays so, if you know that you are preparing to go away, you should fill up a few days or even a week in advance. If need be, you can top up on the day but at least you won’t need to overspend to fill an almost empty tank.
Stick to the speed limit
Given the road conditions, it’s even more important to stick to the speed limit or even travel slower than usual if conditions are particularly poor. During the festive season, there are usually extra police officers and speed traps on the roads so it pays to slow down.
Rest well before you drive
Driving when you are tired is never a good idea. Especially when you need to concentrate that much harder on the road and conditions. If you are tired, you will not be able to react as quickly to avoid danger and this can have disastrous results. If you have a long road ahead, plan your stops and give yourself time to stretch your legs. If possible, have your partner, spouse, or friend take over driving from time to time so that you can enjoy a break. Beware of driving “hypnosis” when on long trips. It’s easy to let the hum of the engine and the straight road lull you into a bit of a trance. If you are feeling particularly exhausted, it’s best to sleep it off at a hotel or motel rather than risk the drive.
Whenever parking your vehicle, make sure that it’s properly secured. Even if you think that you’re in a small town where crime is virtually non-existent, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Do not leave babies or children in the car. If you don’t want to wake them, at least one adult should remain in the vehicle to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Plan the route
It’s good to have a plan before you leave. Sure, you could rely on your GPS but, if for whatever reason your GPS lets you down, it’s also good to have a backup plan like an actual map. It might sound like an outdated idea but if technology fails, good old-fashioned paper will get you out of that pickle!
Check your emergency supplies
Your vehicle should always carry a first aid kit but, in winter, you might want to add such things as a shovel and other roadside emergency items. Reflective triangles and a reflective vest are all great for letting other drivers know where you are.
Charge all phones
In the event of an emergency, you will need to be able to call for assistance. There’s nothing worse than a dead phone battery when you need to make that call! Make sure that you have at least one or two fully charged phones before you leave. Alternatively, keep a fully charged power bank just in case. Sure, you can charge your phone in your car but, if your vehicle won’t start, this will mean that you cannot charge your phone either.
Not only is drinking and driving dangerous, but it’s also illegal. Some people think that it’s OK to drink the night before and drive the next day. This is not advisable since you will most likely still have alcohol in your system and you will probably feel quite tired. Both of these factors will affect your driving capabilities and safety. So, instead of drinking the night before your trip, wait until you arrive at your destination and then take a moment to celebrate with some eggnog, rum, or whatever you fancy.
Leaving early can help you beat the traffic and make for safer driving conditions too. Sometimes you can leave in the morning, sometimes you will need to plan to leave a full day early. Consider where you plan on going, the route you wish to take, and when the congestion usually begins. Similarly, when making your way back home, you might want to leave at least one day early to avoid all the traffic of people returning. Just one day can make all the difference!
Remember, the holidays are about having a good time and the fun does not need to begin once you arrive at your destination. You can make the trip fun by choosing great music, playing travel games and simply talking. Make sure that any younger travelers have more than enough car friendly toys to keep them happy and don’t forget the snacks!
Remember, anytime you get into your car, make sure that you have your vehicle warranty details on hand. An emergency may occur at any time and these details are essential in such a time of need. To make sure that you are covered these holidays, call A-Protect Warranty at 1-866-660-6444 for more information.