Safe Driving Tips for Holiday Travel

Did you know that AAA projects that approximately 107 million Americans will be traveling this year-end holiday season (from December 23 to January 1)? With that many people on the road, it’s imperative that you stay alert and follow these travel tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Plan Ahead

Before any holiday traveling, you want to make sure you plan ahead. This means figuring out how long you will be driving per day (if the trip takes more than 1 day), where you will stop, what hotels you will stay at, and when you want to arrive at your destination. Having all of these details planned out can help mitigate the risk of rushing or making uncalculated decisions that can lead to accidents

There are many websites that can make planning easier. Consider using sites like Travelocity or Trivago to help find hotels to stay at. Yelp or other review websites can give you an understanding of safe areas or good restaurants to eat at. You can also always ask a friend or family member for tips and advice on traveling to your destination.

Leave On Time

Before leaving for a holiday trip, you should have an idea of what time you want to leave. Whether you’re making a road trip or driving to the airport to catch a flight, you should give yourself enough time to drive safely and not speed. This also means giving yourself more time to sit back and relax at the airport or arrive earlier at your destination.

Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving is one of the many causes of driving-related deaths and accidents. Distracted driving doesn’t only include talking or texting on your phone, but also eating while driving, applying makeup while driving, and anything else that takes your hands, eyes, and attention away from the road.

If you know you need to be using your phone or eating a meal in the car, have someone else drive while you finish those tasks. At the end of the day, arriving safely to your holiday destination is more important than fixing your makeup or posting on social media. 

Stay Alert

It’s understandable that after a long night or extended drive you can start to get tired. However, you want to make sure you stay alert while driving, especially during this time of year. Many factors including winter weather and an increased number of drivers on the road create a higher risk of getting into an accident.

If you feel yourself starting to get tired or drowsy, pull over, stop for the night, or have someone who is fully alert take over driving. 

Pro tip: Planning your drive times can help you mitigate the risk of driving for so long that you start to feel tired.

Pack the Necessities

Before you leave for holiday travel, you should make sure your car has some necessities in case of an accident. Here are 10 things you should always keep in your car:

  1. Flashlight
  2. First Aid Kit
  3. Tire Pressure Gauge
  4. Jumper Cables
  5. Owner’s Manual
  6. Car Jack
  7. Spare Tire
  8. Emergency Blanket
  9. Duct tape
  10. Tire Inflator and Sealer

While most of these items will only be used in case of an emergency, it’s better to have them packed and ready for when accidents do arise, especially if you’re traveling during the holiday season.

Driving during the holidays isn’t too different from driving during the rest of the year, however, there is an increase in traffic which can cause an increase in accidents. With these easy safety tips, you can become better prepared for any accident that may arise. 

Do you have any safety tips you want to share? Feel free to post them in the comments or on our social media pages! Don’t forget to subscribe to the ZenLyfe blog so you don’t miss more safety tips and tricks. 

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