AAA predicts a million more drivers will be on the road this holiday season, compared to last year. With heavier traffic comes an increased likelihood of being involved in an accident. Safe holiday driving happens before you ever get on the road. Here are a few tips to avoid emergencies and be prepared.
Plan ahead and give yourself extra time. Speeding is a major contributor to serious accidents. By planning additional time for breaks, traffic, and unexpected circumstances, you will be less tempted to speed. Don’t let the weather fool you into thinking speeding is safe. Nearly three quarters of speed-related crashes occurred during clear weather and nearly two-thirds happen during the day.
If you do slow down due to congestion, don’t get distracted by mobile devices. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At just 55 mph, is like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.
Maintain your vehicle. Keeping a car tuned up with regular safety checks not only makes the car run more efficiently, but can reduce the chances of the car breaking down while you are away from home. Immediately before a long trip, check the tire pressure and fluid levels so there are no surprises.
Prepare an emergency kit. Keeping a well-prepped emergency kit is a good idea in case there is an emergency, or you come upon an emergency. Flares, and a bright vest are especially useful. If you do have a break-down and are not near a turn-out, staying visible is key.
Practice safe driving. It may be tempting to have drink at a holiday party but the best idea is to avoid drinking and driving. If you are planning on drinking at a holiday party, you have several options like designating a driver, taking a taxi, or summoning a rideshare like Lyft or Uber. Another way to stay safe is to review the Virginia Driver’s Manual to refresh your memory of safe driving habits.
Purchase proper insurance. Some state minimums are inadequate or outdated and do not adequately protect drivers from financial catastrophe. Read more about what we recommend for auto insurance on Peter’s blog.
Preparing in advance of holiday travel is the best way to avoid or successfully navigate an emergency.