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6 Important Tips for Safe Travel During the Holidays

holiday safety

Holiday travel is going to be a little different this year. Traditionally, millions of Americans hit the road to visit with friends and relatives for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

Although there may be a reduced number of holiday travelers this year, a significant number will still decide to take a road trip. If you are one of those who is visiting your loved ones in person this year, you should know that the usually reliable Farmer’s Almanac has predicted above average amounts of snow and frosty temperatures in Virginia and DC for the 2020 – 2021 winter. So to ensure a safe trip, it is important to be well-prepared ahead of time.

Here are six holiday travel safety tips for the upcoming season:

Get Tested for COVID-19 before Visiting People Outside your Household

This year, it is recommended that holiday travelers get tested for COVID-19 before going to visit relatives and friends who are not in their household. This is especially true when visiting elderly loved ones such as parents and grandparents who are more vulnerable to severe and sometimes fatal illness because of the virus. Be sure that everyone traveling is free of the coronavirus before the trip, and it might also be a good idea to quarantine for a week or two before you leave just to be sure.

Prepare your Vehicle for a Long Road Trip

Before you go on a long trip, take your car in for servicing and get everything checked over. Change the oil if you are close to the due date or mileage threshold, top off all of the fluids, and make sure your tires are at the proper pressure level. If your tires are low on tread, consider replacing them before you travel. Get your brakes inspected to make sure there is enough wear left, and replace them if your mechanic recommends it. Also be sure to have your battery checked to ensure that it is charging properly, and replace it if needed.

Assemble an Emergency Vehicle Safety Kit

In case of a breakdown or another type of emergency, have an emergency kit assembled to help get you through this type of situation. Some items that should be in your emergency kit include:

  • A first-aid kit
  • Reflective triangles and warning flares
  • Gloves, hand warmers, stocking caps, and warm blankets
  • Jumper cables
  • A portable cell phone charger
  • Nonperishable snacks and drinking water
  • Plenty of hand sanitizer

Along these same lines, it is extremely important to obtain some type of emergency roadside assistance before you travel if you do not have one already. Most insurers offer the option to add this service for a few dollars a month, or you could go with an outside service such as AAA for less than $100 a year. Finally, be sure to have your emergency roadside assistance phone number in a place that is easily accessible. One good suggestion is to add the number to your smartphone contact list.

Get Plenty of Rest before Driving Long Distances

A long road trip can be very tiring, especially if you are the only one driving. On trips like these, tired and fatigued drivers can start to feel sleepy or even fall asleep at the wheel, which can result in disastrous consequences. If you are planning to put in a full day of driving, be well-rested before you start out. For most adults, this means getting about 7 to 8 hours of sleep prior to your trip.

Plan your Route and Monitor the Latest Weather and Traffic Reports

As we talked about before, there is a good chance of encountering wintry weather in Virginia this year, and the same holds true if you are traveling to other Northeastern states. And even with a reduced number of travelers this year, you are still likely to run into areas of slow traffic. To prepare for these possibilities, monitor the weather and traffic reports ahead of time, and alter your route to avoid these adverse conditions as much as possible. If you do run into snowy or icy roads, road construction, or other such conditions, be patient and exercise extra caution as you are going through these areas.

Injured in an Auto Accident during the Holidays? Contact Buck, Toscano & Terezkerz for Assistance

At Buck, Toscano & Terezkerz, we wish you a safe and joyful holiday season, and we hope that everyone will take time out to spend some quality time with those closest to them – whether that be in-person or virtually. In spite of the best intentions, we all know that accidents do happen. If you end up in a car accident that was the fault of another person or party, we are here for you. Call our office today at 205-968-1302 or message us online to schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys.

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