December 16, 2018
Holiday Safety – When it comes to holiday travel, airports and flying get a lot of the attention. But the majority of people who travel during the holidays pack up the car and drive to their destinations.
Before starting the journey, drivers should do some car maintenance and prepare for safe driving.
Here are some tips to help you hit the road:
Get all your basic maintenance done
Make sure your engine is ready for your winter holiday drive before you hit the road.
We recommend giving yourself a week to:
- Check tire pressure and tread depth
- Replace wiper blades
- Fill the windshield washer reservoir
- Test the battery
Even if you’re already behind on your to-do list, now is the time to take care of it. Don’t leave home without an oil change or brake check, too, if you’ve been putting those off.
Make an emergency road kit
An emergency kit should include a first aid kit and jumper cables. You should also carry:
- Flashlights with fresh batteries and warning triangles
- Shop rags or paper towels
- Drinking water and nonperishable snack bars
- Warm clothes
- Basic hand tools
- Chargers for your phone
Map your route
Out on the motorway is not a good time to start figuring out directions. Map your trip before you head out.
Know how you’re going to get to your destination and have an alternative route in mind. Be prepared for busy roads. Check your smartphone app for heavy traffic ahead. If possible, leave really early in the morning or really late in the evening when traffic is generally lighter.
Check on the weather
Know what kind of conditions you might be driving through, not just the weather at your home and your destination. You may be going through mountain passes between your starting and stopping points.
Take a few minutes to check current weather conditions and forecasts.
Brush up on your driving techniques
Increase your regular following distance. Rather than three to four seconds, make it eight to 10. Avoid skids by applying the gas slowly to accelerate. Above all, be patient and don’t let yourself get distracted.
Secure your valuables
The holidays are prime time for thieves, and a vehicle full of items in plain view will attract them. Don’t make yourself a tempting target; keep your valuables and wrapped Christmas presents in the trunk or a covered storage area.
Keep the kids busy and safe
Strap your children safely in the vehicle.
Use books, games, DVDs – whatever will keep the kids comfortable and stop them from distracting the driver. Remember, they will need snacks and will need to make stops, so be prepared to spend more time on the road if you’re traveling with children.
And do remember to buckle children in the vehicle using safety seats, booster seats or seat belts depending on their height, weight and age.
Take a break every two hours or 200 kilometers
Adults need to stop, too. Breaking up the drive periodically will keep you more alert while you’re on the road, which will help you arrive for Christmas dinner in one piece.
For professional advice drive in or call us today at 03 349 7813