Gosh, is it the holiday season already? Thanksgiving and Christmas usually go hand-in-hand with dropping temperatures, freezing cold, and general merrymaking. Most folks also make use of this opportunity to go on cross-country road trips or visit friends and family across the city. If you’re getting behind the wheel, here are some safe driving tips you should follow during the holidays in 2022.
It would be an understatement to say that everyone in the country is looking forward to the holidays in 2022! After nearly two years of being stuck at home due to the pandemic, more Americans are taking to holiday travel in droves. But, if you plan to get your festive on, you must follow these driving safety tips.
Driving in the winter can be excellent to detach yourself and have a fresh start to 2022. But first, you need to ensure you drive safely – both inside and outside the city. Roads can get slippery, drivers can be careless, and anything can happen! Follow these 5 simple safe driving tips to make a world of difference to your holiday driving.
1. Safe Driving Tip 101: Always stay sharp
Distracted driving is one of the leading reasons for road accidents in the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that an average of eight people dies every day in road accidents in the US. Weather conditions play a crucial role in this statistic. Winter weather often means shorter daylight hours, reduced visibility, and unexpected snowfall. Going on a road trip through unfamiliar areas can be quite a gamble!
You may have to face some serious challenges throughout your holiday trip. The last thing you need is to be distracted by a snowman along the street or a holiday text on your cell phone. Staying sharp while winter driving, especially when you have family and friends on board, is one of your basic safe driving tips this holiday season. If you want to stay lively, play one of these fun road trip games!
2. Leave early, drive slow and steady
Staying safe on the roads during the holiday season is not as easy as you think. Even while following safe driving trips, you could still face high-risk driving hazards like cold brakes that could unexpectedly cause issues. Not to mention accidents from losing control of your vehicle! From problems with traction due to snowfall on the winter roads to having a cold engine that refuses to start, you could face a frustrating set of issues.
If you move through snowy roads steadily and at lower speeds, you will have more time to react in the event of losing control. Either way, ensure you also have good insurance coverage to have your back.
3. Keep an eye on the weather forecast
Snowfall rates can vary by a lot in a single day. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has quite efficient snow removal systems, there could be slight delays in the process. A basic safe driving tip is to always have a good idea about the expected weather. Plan before driving out into the snowy weather. Keep tabs on the live weather forecast, and book a covered parking spot if required using a parking app like Way.com.
Also, make sure you have your car properly warmed up. Getting trapped in thick snow on your holiday road trip is the last thing you need to be dealing with, especially if you are traveling with family and friends.
4. Get your car checked before heading out
Weather conditions play an important role in your vehicle’s overall performance. Winter weather can cause all kinds of problems for even the best-performing cars, and getting it checked is an important safe driving tip. If you’ve planned a long winter road trip, make sure your car is up to date on maintenance. Get your car serviced to ensure that all parts of the car are in proper condition as they should be. You can also follow this basic car maintenance checklist yourself.
If you’re traveling somewhere with heavy snowfall, make sure you have the gear to plow your way out from deep snow if your wheels get buried. Jumper cables are your best friend when it comes to winter driving. Make sure to have them on board for your holiday road trip.
5. Don’t drink and drive – designate a driver
Cold weather, the holiday season, and family reunions usually feature quality food, fireplaces, and lots of alcohol. If you have plans for a holiday road trip with pitstops at a friend or family member’s place, stay off the alcohol if you drive. Holidays and alcohol go hand-in-hand with each other, and if you have wild parties scheduled, hire a driver or have a driver on board who stays sober throughout the journey.
The safety of friends and family onboard your car is not something you want to play around with. Holiday traffic and winter road conditions are already tricky enough that well-experienced and even sober drivers find it challenging to drive around. Driving under the influence is a punishable offense and a leading cause of fatal road accidents. Regardless of whether it’s the summer or winter, never drink and drive. If you want to drink, have a designated driver, fit to drive onboard, or spend the night away from driving.