If you are hitting the road for the holidays, make sure you prepare yourself and your vehicle. Traveling via car during the holiday season can be deadly.
According to the National Safety Council, here are how many people died in holiday car accidents in 2015:
- Thanksgiving: 386
- Christmas Day: 273
- New Year's Day: 355
These statistics should not necessarily deter you from driving for a trip during November, December or January. But they should motivate you to be as safe as possible. Here are some crucial holiday road trip tips.
1. Watch out for drunk drivers
Intoxicated motorists account for one-third of fatal collisions during the holidays. Keep an eye out for these red flags of impaired drivers:
- Veering out of a lane
- Driving drastically slower or faster than the speed limit
- Straddling the center line
- Making sudden turns
- Responding to traffic signals slowly
Drunk drivers are abundant during this time of year, so remain vigilant to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
2. Review weather reports and traffic conditions
Plan your route ahead of time so you know what to expect. Check the forecast and local news to figure out if there are any hazards you need to avoid. The last thing you need is to get stuck in a snowstorm or heavy traffic.
3. Stock your vehicle with emergency items
While you hope you never get stranded somewhere during your road trip, you should always prepare for the worst. Some items you may want to keep in your car include the following:
- Hand radio
- Jumper cables
- Windshield scraper
- Cat litter or sand
Readying your car for emergencies will help you during any unexpected events that may occur. Hopefully, you will never need to use these emergency items, but having them on-hand will give you peace of mind.
Braving the streets during the busy holiday season can be nerve-wracking, but these pieces of advice will make it a safer endeavor.