6 Tips for a Merry (and Safe) Holiday Road Trip

Posted by Safeco November 12, 2015
Holiday Driving Tips

Driving Tips for the Holiday Season

Winter is the most challenging season for drivers, and it only gets more intense around the holidays. If you're setting out on a holiday road trip, you can likely look forward to more traffic and worse weather than usual.

Throw in the rush factor—neither you nor anyone else on the road wants to be late for the celebration—and you have the potential for trouble. To avoid it, here are six important tips to keep in mind:

  1. Make Sure the Car Is Ready
    See that your tires are properly inflated, that you have a full tank of gas and that your windshield wiper blades are in good working order. Carry a snow scraper and brush, a flashlight, blankets, booster cables and a shovel, and make sure you have flares or emergency triangles.
  2. Stay Charged
    Keep a mobile phone and charger with you at all times. If your phone is charged, you can call for emergency help and receive wireless emergency alerts – just don’t use it while operating your vehicle. Keep the contact information for roadside assistance handy, too, so you don’t have to search for it if an incident occurs.
  3. Don't Let Frustration Morph Into Road Rage
    Before you go, take time to check the weather and learn your route in advance. Leave early enough to give yourself plenty of time to spare. On the road, keep your younger passengers occupied to reduce distractions, and always expect the unexpected from other drivers.
  4. Don't Hurry
    You've left early, so you needn't worry about arriving on time. Now give yourself time to react to danger by slowing down. Stay within the speed limit, or even below it if the weather and road conditions are bad. And, remember to leave ample space between you and the car ahead in case you have to stop quickly.
  5. Designate a Driver
    This shouldn't need repeating, but, with all the holiday parties and festivities, it can't hurt to reiterate: Don't drink and drive. Have a plan before the party starts for who drinks and who doesn't. And, if the designated driver gets caught up in the spirit of things, be prepared to call a cab or get a place to stay.
  6. Stay Alert
    You know about turkey and tryptophan, but it's not the only culprit here. Overindulging for the holidays involves plenty of carbohydrates and alcohol as well, and they all contribute to that drowsy, post-feast feeling. Counter it by getting plenty of rest beforehand, eating and drinking in moderation and knowing when it is and isn’t safe to drive.

Plan ahead and keep your cool, and this year the road trip could turn out to be as memorable and enjoyable as the rest of the season. Happy holidays!


Have the Right Insurance for Any Season, Especially Winter

Snow, sleet and ice – oh my! Winter weather can increase your chance of an auto accident, so be sure you have coverage when it counts. To review your car insurance policy or add roadside assistance coverage, please contact your local insurance agent today.

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