12 Holiday Highway Driving Tips
The number of holiday travelers is expected to top 100 million in 2015 – the highest number ever. That translates to about 1 in 3 Americans taking a trip 50 miles or more from home. With so many details to cover getting out of town, it’s easy to forget basic car maintenance and prep. I’m all for anything people can do to prevent accidents and injuries. Here are 12 holiday highway driving tips from the California Highway Patrol about staying safe on the highway this holiday season:
- Prepare your car for bad weather – pack blankets, tools, food in addition to suitcases and holiday gifts.
- Make sure that all passengers are wearing a seat belt in both front and back seats.
- Drive slower in bad weather to prevent hydroplaning and avoid road hazards.
- Turn on headlights when windshield wipers are on. If it’s raining hard enough to need wipers, then you probably need light.
- Avoid areas with flooding – don’t be one of the pictures on the news!
- Pack an emergency safety kit with items such as gloves, flashlights, extra batteries, a first aid kit, flares, and reflective vest.
- Service your car before you go to avoid a breakdown. Check for leaks, adequate hoses, and any necessary repairs.
- Check your tires for sufficient treads to avoid skids or a blowout.
- Make sure you have enough energy for the drive. Drink coffee or a soda, get enough rest, and/or switch drivers periodically if possible.
- Keep alert however is best for you – turn on the radio, roll down the window. Pull off the highway if you think you’re getting too tired.
- Don’t drink and drive! Plan ahead for a designated driver, or have a place to stay if you’ve been drinking.
- Pay attention to the road. Don’t let yourself be distracted from driving – talking on the phone, texting, and activity going on in your back seat.
Before you leave Bakersfield to head for the Grapevine, be sure and check the traffic and weather on I-5. You may realize that you have to leave a lot earlier than you anticipated.
How you drive is a life and death matter. Stay safe and have happy holidays!
Read more on the AAA website: