Holiday Road Trip Driving Tips

23503951871_d94acddd25_zIf you’re taking a holiday road trip this December, there are some things you need to keep in mind to keep yourself and your passengers safe and get to your destination in one piece. Christmastime is one of the most dangerous times of the year to take road trips between the congestion and the weather, so follow these tips.

Before anything else, have your car inspected to make sure it’s in good shape. You should do this before any road trip, but especially in cold weather.

If you can, avoid driving during heavy traffic times, like in the middle of the afternoon, and try to plan alternate routes. Bringing a cell phone with GPS or using the navigation in your car is a good idea, especially if you have something that provides traffic information. If you don’t have this information, download an app like Waze that can help you avoid congested traffic.

If you’re transporting food, gifts, or luggage, put them in the trunk or cargo area and strap them down. If you have to brake hard or get in an accident, unsecured items could injure a passenger. In the case of an emergency it’s good to have a roadside assistance plan and keep a spare cell phone fully charged in your car.

It isn’t all about safety—if you have kids with you, you’ll want to make sure they’re entertained and avoid crankiness. Bring books, handheld video games, tablets, and audiobooks, and don’t forget snacks that are easy for them to eat like cheese sticks and crackers.

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