Some people fly to meet with their families during the holiday season, but many others will drive. Even if you have to cross a state to spend the day with your grandmother, the investment of time and gas money is often worthwhile to see your family on the holidays.
Unfortunately, road travel can be particularly dangerous around the holiday season. Bad weather, high volumes of people on the road and an increase in drunk driving are all elements that contribute to your overall possibility of a major motor vehicle collision while driving to a holiday celebration.
The three holiday driving safety tips below can help you and the people you love reach your planned destination safely this holiday season.
Designate someone for navigation and communication
If you must travel by yourself on the roads, then you should commit to pulling over onto the shoulder if you need to update your navigation software or contact a family member on the phone or via text message.
If there are passengers in your vehicle, one of them can handle the responsibility of doing those tasks for you. They can read text messages and relate the information you provide to the person who messaged you. They can communicate with you about the navigation instructions, such as advising you of an upcoming turn or updating the map you have when you have to take an unexpected detour.
Keep an eye on the weather ahead of time
Inclement weather will mean that you need to slow down to reach your destination safely, so you need to know if the weather will be bad the day before you travel. You’ll have to adjust many aspects of your schedule, including when you get up for the morning, to accommodate for bad weather.
Planning ahead by keeping an eye on the weather as the travel day approaches will mean that you don’t have to drive too fast to be safe given the road conditions.
Avoid fatigue and intoxication
Making sure that you get enough sleep before a long drive is very important, especially if you will start off early in the morning or be on the road late at night after dark. People who are tired have a hard time staying focused and could even fall asleep at the wheel.
Alcohol impairment is also a concern, especially on your way back from a holiday celebration. If you have a drink, you should give yourself time to metabolize the alcohol before you drive home or let someone else drive the first stretch of the trip.
Employing the right safety rules on the road this holiday season will help ensure it is a time of celebration and not a tragedy for your family because of a preventable car wreck.