Holiday travel is in full force now and accidents are more prevalent than ever. This is one of the busiest times of year and the road is no different. Snow has fallen in most states, the roads are icy, slippery, and wet. I’ve partnered with FD Ford Dealership to bring you some tips for staying safe on the road during holiday travel.
Allow Extra Travel Time
When you’re planning your trip, be sure to allow extra time. Hazardous roads mean reduced speeds and the possibility that traffic may be halted due to accidents. Don’t let impatience put you in a risky situation. There’s an Italian saying that I live by, “Chi va piano, va lontano. ~ He who goes slow, goes far.”
Pack a Winter Safety Kit for the Car
Don’t leave without the essentials for a safe trip – a cell phone, ice scraper, tow rope and jumper cables; sand or cat litter to aid with traction; blankets, flashlights, matches and emergency candles; first aid kit; portable radio; and a good book, in case you do get stuck. Hopefully, should an emergency happen, these tools can help you get on the road again. Emergencies scare me and I like to be prepared – you should too.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
If you absolutely have to be on the road, carefully monitor weather and road conditions before you head out. Don’t be afraid to wait it out if the weather will be improving later in the day. If it looks like conditions will be deteriorating throughout the day, reconsider the importance of your trip. I know we all have places we want to be, but your wellbeing and that of others out on the road is more important. I’m sure that your Aunt Nell will understand if you get there on the 23rd instead of the 22nd.
Brake and Accelerate Slowly
All braking and accelerating should be done gently. This is key if you want to avoid going into a skid. Allow extra space between you and the car ahead so you don’t find yourself stomping on that brake pedal. That’s a great way to skid and end up sideways. Likewise, if you hit the gas pedal hard when the light turns green, you may lose control of your vehicle. Conversely, you could simply succeed in getting yourself stuck deep in the snow. JUST DO IT CAREFULLY AND GENTLY – NO RUSH TO GO THROUGH THE GREEN LIGHT FOLKS!
Clean Your Vehicle Properly
Prior to heading out, be sure your vehicle is properly cleared of snow. Don’t just clear the windshield and go. You’ll need to see out the rear window as well as the side windows, so take the time to do the job right. Also clean off headlights and tail lights. Clean off the roof of your car too. The last thing anyone needs is for a sheet of snow or ice to fly off and hit another vehicle. Even during the daytime, in winter storm conditions, keep those headlights on. The idea is to see and be seen and decrease the chances of an accident because another motorist couldn’t see your turn signals.
Have Your Car Checked By a Professional
This is one of the most crucial winter driving tips. The last thing you want to worry about is your car falling apart, leaving you stranded far away from home. Take it to your local auto shop for a quick once-over, and make sure your tires are winter ready and properly inflated.