Travel Safety Tips for the festive season
Holiday travel is back on the menu! After a year of isolated or socially distanced festivities (thanks to COVID-19), we anticipate more people taking to the road and skies this holiday season. Extensive travel time and bad roads can lead to safety hazards.
At Solid Rock, we have identified eleven holiday travel safety tips to know before you hit the road.
1. Prepare your home for optimum safety while you’re away.
If you have a security system installed in your home, ensure that it’s working properly—including all alarms, motion detectors, cameras, and other monitoring equipment.
2. Have your car inspected or serviced before you leave, and keep an emergency kit in it.
Car trouble is a common issue for travelers during the holidays.
Be proactive to avoid hazards like a blown tire. Take your car in for an inspection and any necessary maintenance, particularly on your tires
Prepare a car emergency kit with necessities like a safety cone, carjack, flashlight, and jumper cables. Include first aid essentials
3. Know how to drive safely
Study up to ensure you know how to safely navigate icy, wet, or slushy roads. Here are some basic tips to keep in mind:
Avoid driving until roads have been plowed and sanded.
Give yourself extra time to get to your destination so you don’t rush in suboptimal conditions.
Decrease your speed as needed.
Leave yourself plenty of room behind other vehicles so you can stop safely on slick roads.
4. Plan the drive ahead of time
Proper planning ensures that you’re prepared for whatever might happen during your trip. If you’re driving down a highway and hit construction, a road closure, or severe traffic, it can feel impossible to figure out an alternate route on the fly.
When you plot your course, note alternate routes in advance. Tools like a vehicle navigation system or an app like Waze can alert you to potential snags and reroute you safely. These can be a huge help when it comes to staying on track, avoiding road closures, or finding your way back to the main road if you get lost
5. Make frequent rest stops.
Make frequent stops to rest or just stretch your legs. It’s important to keep your energy level high enough to stay alert on the road. Stopping for even a few minutes every couple hours can do wonders for keeping your energy high.
6. Carry your cell phone charger
You never know when or where car troubles may rear their ugly head. A mobile phone lets you call for help, get a tow, or arrange alternative transportation if you run into trouble.
But it won’t do you any good if the battery dies. Make sure you grab your phone charger before you leave the house. A wall charger is good when you’re making a stop, but a car charger is better when you’re on the road.
7. Stay hydrated
Dehydration may not be on the top of your list of holiday travel safety hazards, but not having enough water during a long drive could mean fatigue or decreased alertness—and that’s dangerous on the road. Keep a few bottles of water handy, and sip often to keep yourself hydrated throughout the trip.
8. Wash your hands frequently with soap or antibacterial hand sanitizer.
Proper hand washing isn’t just for pandemic times. The holidays are also smack dab in the middle of flu season. Keeping your hands sanitized is especially important if you’re flying or riding a train or bus. Everything you touch has been touched by someone else, including armrests and door handles.
Clean your hands frequently with either soap and water or antibacterial gel or wipes
9. Give someone close to you a copy of your trip itinerary and photocopies of important documents.
Before you leave, give a copy of your itinerary and all necessary contact information to a relative or friend. This way it will be easy to reach you in case of an emergency, whether you’re on your way out or heading back home.
Also, leave photocopies of your passports, credit cards, and any other types of identification with this person in case something happens to the originals and you need a photocopy. It’s also smart to keep a separate set of photocopies in your luggage.
10. Avoid stopping on the highway itself. Rather take an offramp and stop in a public area to stretch, refresh, and get a break from driving. Roadside rest stops often have lovely views, kids love picnics, and fresh air can be invigorating when you’ve been driving for a few hours.
11. Minimize road chat. Road trips can be a great time to catch up with others, but talking to passengers can be as distracting as using a cellphone. When you’re on driving duty, make sure your number-one priority is still the road
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