Top 5 Holiday Travel Tips
The holiday season is finally upon us, which means more people will be taking to the roadways than ever before for holiday travel. According to AAA, at least a 5% increase from 2019 traffic was expected to occur before Thanksgiving.
With all the extra vehicles on the road, knowing how to make your trip a safer one is essential. Here are the top five ways you can improve your family's roadway safety this season.
#1. Plan Routes Ahead of Time
If traveling a far distance for the holidays, it's crucial to plan out your route at least three days in advance. This way, you can plan for necessary stops for gas, rest, and food or inclement weather that may be in some areas but not others. If this is a full-on road trip, you may also want to factor in sightseeing or other festive activities.
Additionally, depending on the weather/terrain of where you're traveling, you may need to take your car in for additional maintenance so it's prepared to handle the varying conditions. For example, if you plan to use I-70 during your trip, be mindful that you may need to swap out your tires for ones with better traction in snow or icy conditions.
#2. Be Mindful of Distractions
The holiday season can come with many distractions that most drivers don't realize until it's too late. Homes and businesses with brightly colored lawn decorations and lights or even having to use your phone for navigation can cause significant cognitive and visual distractions for even the most experienced driver.
Furthermore, it's not uncommon for people to feel increased stress levels during this time of year. Unfortunately, this can serve as another form of cognitive distraction and leave you thinking about ten other things while driving. Be aware of the many external and internal distractions that may be present during this holiday season.
#3. Teach Children Car Etiquette for Long Drives
Families that prefer to road trip instead of flying have their own unique challenges, the biggest being cranky children. While some may be just fine on that short commute from home to school, being in a car for multiple hours may not be ideal for young children with endless amounts of energy. That's why it's crucial to explain the importance of car etiquette on these long drives. This may look like:
- Explaining why toys and bodies should be kept in the back seat.
- Inside voices apply to the car too.
- Wearing seatbelts whenever the car is turned on.
- Keeping the door closed unless a parent opens it for you.
You may also find it helpful to make kids-sized itineraries for children who need a visual representation of where and when stops will occur on the trip.
#4. Pack for the Drive and Destination
Is your trip taking you somewhere warm? Don't forget to pack for the weather conditions you may encounter on the way there in addition to the warm weather clothes. The same goes for the utilities in your vehicle. Ensure you still have a snow brush, ice scraper, and tire chains (if not already using traction law-compliant tires) just in case you encounter wintery conditions on the trip.
#5. Have a Backup Plan in Case of Emergencies
All drivers should already maintain an emergency kit to keep in their vehicles, but you should also ensure you have a backup plan in mind for the worst-case scenario. From flat tires to collisions to being snowed in overnight, be prepared to change your plans if necessary. This may look like finding lodging for one night, knowing where the closest rental car place is and how to get there, or keeping a battery-powered phone charger on hand in case you are stranded.
Stay Safe this Holiday Season
Klein Frank, P.C. wishes safe travels for you and your family this holiday season. Know that you have a resource in our team should you become injured while on the road. If you need legal assistance after a collision left you or a loved one injured, call (303) 448-8884 to get in touch with a member of our team.