With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s essential to keep in mind travel safety. The holidays are a busy time, with many people traveling to see family and friends. More than 90% of travel takes place by car between December 23 and January 1, leading to an increased chance of accidents on the road, as well as unforeseen travel issues that may arise. Follow these holiday travel safety tips for the most enjoyable season.
Car Safety Tips for the Holidays
As the majority of travelers go by route of automobile, car safety should be of utmost importance this holiday season. Not only is driving safety a primary concern, but there are other factors to take into consideration as well. These include car malfunctions and breakdowns, travel itinerary disruptions, and more. There are steps you can take in advance to ensure you and your family remain safe on the roads.
Get Your Car Inspected Ahead of Time
If you are planning a holiday road trip, it’s a good idea to get your car inspected ahead of time. Key things to check for include:
- Proper tread on your tires
- Replacing old windshield wiper blades
- Ensuring that all headlights, tail lights, and blinker lights are working
- There are no cracks in your windshield
- Your regular maintenance, such as oil changes, are up to date
- No service lights or check engine lights are on
- All seatbelts in the car click in properly
- That your brake pads don’t need to be replaced
- All fluids, including windshield wiper fluid and antifreeze, are filled
- The batteries in your key fob are working
- Ensure your car has a spare tire and a tire jack
- Ensure your registration and insurance are up to date and in the car
- Address any other outstanding issues you’ve been having with your vehicle before you leave
Taking care of any problems ahead of time can prevent accidents and help make sure your car doesn’t break down in the middle of a long drive. No one wants to be stranded on the side of the road late at night, or have to change a blown-out tire in the pouring rain.
Plan Your Drive Ahead of Time
Have a travel plan before you leave. Map out which roads you plan to take, and look at alternate routes before you go, in case roads get shut down or backed up due to accidents or weather. Take rest stops into account when considering the length of your drive. It’s important to stop every few hours to stretch your legs. Stretching your legs improves oxygen and blood flow in your body, increasing your energy levels and ability to stay alert.
Don’t try to make an extended drive all in one shot if you don’t have to. It’s recommended not to drive more than eight hours in one day, taking at least a fifteen-minute break every two hours. If you’re planning on traveling for longer than that, plan to break the trip up into two days. Plan your overnight rest spot ahead of time, and be sure to make reservations. The holidays are a busy time for hotels and rooms often fill up in advance. Don’t leave reservations until the last minute. You may have difficulty finding somewhere to stay, leading to frustration and the possibility of being in an unsafe situation.
Holiday Travel Tips for Home Safety
Once you’ve planned your trip, and you know your car is safe to drive the distance, consider the safety of your home while you’re gone. This can prevent you from falling victim to robbery, theft, or property damage. Follow these tips to maintain home safety while you’re away.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Let them know you’ll be gone and if you’re expecting anyone while you’re gone. Let them know to alert the authorities if they see anyone who is not supposed to be on your property. Also, tell them to alert authorities if they see broken windows, open doors, etc.
- Consider putting timers on some lights in your home. Lights that are turned on and off at random intervals can deter robbers, as it gives the impression that someone may be home.
- Enable your home security system before you leave.
- Turn off all major appliances before you leave to prevent overheating and the possibility of fire while you’re gone. Make sure the stove and oven are off, the televisions are turned off, laptops unplugged, etc.
- Consider taking any valuables, such as jewelry or small electronics with you. If that’s not a possibility, secure them in a safe while you’re gone.
- Lastly, make sure that all your doors and windows are locked when you leave.
These tips can help keep your home safe not only from criminals but also from accidental damage. Provide your neighbors with your cellphone number or the number where you will be staying so that if anything happens, they can reach you while you’re gone.
General Holiday Travel Safety Tips
If your car is safe and your home is secured, you’re pretty well prepared for travel. However, more things cannot only help keep you safe but also make your life easier should you encounter a negative situation.
Make sure that your phone is fully charged before you leave, and that you have a phone charger with you. If you’re traveling by car, try to bring a car charger in case your battery gets low on the road. This is especially important if you’re using your phone for GPS, as this can drain the battery very quickly. There are portable power banks you can purchase that will provide a charge to your phone even if you don’t have a power source in the car. There are also phone cases that contain extended batteries.
Should you have a roadside emergency, you’ll be glad that you have the extra power for your phone.
Bring an Emergency Medical Kit
Pack an emergency kit before you leave to keep in the car. Include adhesive bandages, alcohol wipes, gauze, and any medications you may need. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, heartburn medication, and antihistamines are great to bring along in case you get sick on the road.
Other Safety Tools and Gadgets
You never know what may happen on the road, so it’s best to be prepared for anything. Make sure there are jumper cables in your car, a flashlight with extra batteries, an extra blanket, roadside flares or reflective lights, a pocket knife, extra water bottles and snacks, and any supplies your children may need.
Food safety is important when traveling for the holidays. After all, no one wants to come down with food poisoning on vacation. Keep food allergies in mind and check with the restaurants you stop at to make sure no allergens are in your food. Be careful not to eat anything that looks undercooked or as if it may have gone bad. There’s nothing worse than becoming ill during a long car trip.
What to Do in the Event of a Car Accident
If you do get into an accident on the road, and you or a loved one are injured, contact a lawyer who specializes in car accidents and personal injury as soon as possible. Always call the police if an accident takes place, take pictures for insurance purposes, and seek medical care immediately.
If you need a personal injury attorney in Pompano Beach, contact LJW Legal today for a free case evaluation.