With the busiest travel period of the year right around the corner, we, at Donate a Car 2 Charity, got together some driving safety tips to help keep you and your family safer during your next holiday roadtrip.
1. Get your vehicle checked out before you the hit the road. Breaking down on the side of the road with a car full of kids or when you are trying make it to your destination in time for a special event is a real holiday mood killer. Many mechanics offer a free diagnostic. So take advantage of their offer and have them to a safety check, as well as ensure your belts, fluids and maintenance type things are all in good shape.
2. Get your tires checked.
- Check your tire pressure. Tire pressure is very important. A tire that is low on pressure can blow out and cause a serious accident. Low tire pressure also cut down on your gas efficiency. So take an extra 5 minutes at the gas station to make sure your tires all have the correct pressure.
- Check the tread on your tires and get them changed out if they’re nearing the end of their life expectancy before you make a long trip. You are more likely to find a better deal close to home, than you will trying to find something on a weekend or in a remote area.
- Make sure you have the right type of tires – especially if you are headed to an area where you may face wintery snow or wintery conditions.
3. Plan your route. By planning your route ahead of time by using AAA’s trip planner, Google Maps or your GPS system, you can potentially avoid spending hours in traffic by avoiding traffic areas where traffic jams are more likely to occur or road closures due to bad weather.
4. Keep pets restrained at all times while driving. You may not realize it, but unrestrained pets can become dangerous or deadly projectiles to you or the other passengers if you have to slam on the brakes or have an accident. So keep pets secure at all times while driving by using a pet harness or keeping them in a crate.
5. Keep an eye on the sky. Check the weather forecast before you start driving to make sure you don’t
get into trouble driving in severe weather conditions that can cause dangerous driving conditions or icy roads.
6. Stay rested and alert! Holiday travel often involves driving long hours or driving during non-optimal times such as in the wee hours of the night and morning. Unfortunately, this is also when a large percentage of severe accidents take place. If you start to feel sleepy, just pull over and take a half hour to rest. Don’t push through the night if you’re not up to it and well rested.
7. Keep your cool and practice safe driving. It’s easy to get impatient and not be as cautious with the safe driving rules when you’re in a hurry or have children in the car who are anxious to get to the final destination. But this is definitely the time to stay cool, stay sane and take your time. Remember that the journey is part of the vacation, so enjoy the trip and be friendly on the roads. Keep the speed limit, follow driving rules and be courteous to other drivers. Not only will this make the trip more enjoyable, but it may prevent an accident, or at the very least, an out of town ticket.
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