6 Important Winter Driving Tips for Safe Holiday Traveling
December 18, 2015
Of the millions and millions of Americans that will be traveling to celebrate the holidays this year, about 90 percent will be driving their vehicles, and the average holiday road trip will be about 275 miles.1
For motorists who will be driving in colder, snowy or icy conditions at any point during their travels, below are some important safety tips to practice in order to avoid a crash, minimize the chances of a breakdown and get to/from their holiday celebrations safely.
- Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter conditions – As we pointed out in a blog last month, the harsh cold of winter can negatively impact vehicles’ performance, as the cold can affect most of the vital systems of cars. So, get your vehicle serviced for wintertime (if you have not done so already) before hitting the road. If your car has already been serviced for wintertime, then be sure to at least fill the gas tank and check your tire pressure.
- Bring a winter safety kit with you – This kit should include resources to keep you safe, repair your vehicle and/or contact help if you are in a crash or a breakdown happens while you are traveling. So, make sure that you assemble one of these kits and put it in your vehicle before taking off.
- Be ready to drive and take it slower – Being ready to drive means being rested, sober and ready to focus on the roads. And, when you do end up taking off, drive at least 5 mph slower than the posted speed limit if the roads are wet or slick to help you maintain optimal control of your vehicle.
- Be vigilant for black ice – Black ice is hard to spot because it looks like pavement. If, however, the temperatures are freezing out and rain is falling (or has recently fallen) – or if you are driving in shady areas, be on the lookout for black ice. And know how to handle your vehicle if you do end up traversing black ice.
- Check the weather and road conditions before any longer trip – And strongly consider delaying your trip or possibly even changing your plans if the weather or road conditions are especially adverse.
- Always buckle up – And make sure everyone riding with you buckles up or is properly restrained. Wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective things vehicle occupants can do to protect themselves if a crash happens because a seatbelt can reduce the risk of a serious or fatal injury by nearly 50 percent.
Do you have some holiday traveling safety tips you live by? If so, share them with us on Facebook & Google+.
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1: According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)