Holiday Safe Driving Tips
With the winter holidays upon us, millions of travelers in the U.S. will be going to visit and celebrate with family and friends, and most of these holiday travelers will be driving. No matter whether you’re driving long-distance or just down the street, you should keep these safety tips in mind before you hit the road:
Check Weather and Safety Broadcasts
It’s important to know what kind of conditions you might have to drive through, so always check forecasts for the roads between your home and your destination. This is especially important if you’ll be traveling through any mountain passes. It only takes a few minutes to check your favorite weather app or website.
Be Aware of Traffic
Pay attention to what other drivers on the road are doing and watch out for any who may be driving recklessly due to alcohol or distraction. Always leave plenty of space between yourself and the vehicles around you and avoid stopping suddenly.
Also, be aware of snowplows. Don’t crowd or travel beside them. Snowplows move slowly, exit the road frequently, overlap lanes, stop often, and make wide turns. It is, however, safe to drive behind them on freshly plowed streets. If you see a snowplow, stay behind it or pass with caution.
Prepare for the Worst
The AAA recommends that drivers carry an emergency road kit that includes a snow brush, an ice scraper, jumper cables, and a first aid kit. You should also include:
- Phone chargers
- Basic hand tools
- Warm layers of clothes
- Nonperishable snacks and drinking water
- Paper towels or shop rags
- Triangles or warning flares and flashlights with new batteries
- Blankets and extra hats and gloves
- A small shovel
- Cat litter, sand, or traction mats
It’s also important that you take a week to get any necessary maintenance done on the car. Do things like test the battery, refill the windshield washer fluid, and replace wiper blades.
Tire inflation pressure drops as the temperature does. Check your owner’s manual or placard on the driver’s side door frame for the recommended inflation pressure and be sure your tires match it. The number listed on the tires is not the correct pressure. Always check the tires when they are cold and haven’t been driven in at least three hours.
Tires with insufficient tread or uneven wear should be replaced. Tread needs to be at least 2/32 of an inch or more on every tire.
How old are your tires? Many vehicle manufacturing companies suggest that you replace your tires every six years, no matter how they look. Read your owner’s manual to determine if this applies to your car.
Regardless of the season, your tires need to be inspected before long road trips and at least once a month for normal driving. It takes less than five minutes to do. If you find yourself driving on icy roads this winter, you’ll be glad you took the time. Also, make sure you have a spare tire handy for emergencies.
If you’re injured in an accident this winter, it’s important to hire an attorney from Jorgensen Law. Victims of motor vehicle crashes who retain a lawyer often receive up to three times more compensation than those without. Our legal team will manage the insurance company and fight to get you the compensation you need in order to cover medical expenses and other losses. Call us today at 1-888-855-2948 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so we don’t get paid until you get paid.