Safe driving during the winter holiday season

Dec 16, 2015 9:08 AM by News Team

During this time of year, drivers have to be aware of the weather when traveling. Car experts have some advice before people decide to head out on the road.

According to State Farm Insurance:

Winter Holiday Season Safe Driving Tips for Teens and Adults

  • Drive 2N2: 2 eyes on the road, 2 hands on the wheel. During the holiday season, millions of teens and young adults will be out of school spending extra time with friends or driving home from college or graduate school to spend time with their families.

  • Take time to winterize your car. Make sure the car battery, fluid levels, lights, windshield wipers, tires and brakes have all been checked before driving the car. Don’t let your gas tank get close to empty, either. You don’t want to run out of gas in cold, snowy conditions or while stuck in traffic.

  • Get rid of trunk junk. Go through the stuff in your trunk or rear storage area and get rid of the junk. Then add the items you’ll need if you have a roadside emergency like a shovel, snow brush, ice scraper, flashlights, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter, warning devices (flares/triangles) and blankets, water, non-perishable food and any needed medicines.

  • Watch or listen to weather reports before heading out. In many parts of the country, any type of holiday travel comes with the potential for dangerous weather. Watch the weather reports before you set out and before you travel back home to make sure the roads are safe to drive on. Always let others know where you’re going.

  • Drive Defensively. Increased holiday traffic and winter road conditions can be frustrating. Keep yourself and your passengers safe by not responding to aggressive drivers who speed or drive too fast for conditions, tailgate, change lanes or pass improperly. Let those drivers pass and put the safety of everyone in your car first. Teens: Even though you’ve earned your license, it’s still a good idea to practice with an adult in winter weather conditions to gain experience.

  • Plan ahead. Don't have enough time to get everything done during your holiday break? You're not the only one. Take extra time to get to your destination by thinking about weather conditions, heavy traffic or parking lot congestion. During the winter months, an earlier sunset means you've got less daylight to work with so plan for shorter days.

Conducting a trunk transformation is easy and could prove to be quite beneficial in the event of an emergency. Take the time to get the junk out of your vehicle trunk and load in these important items:

  • Hazard triangle (with reflectors) or road flares
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables or small battery charger
  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Spare tire (make sure jack and lug wrench are in vehicle)
  • Tow strap
  • Blankets and extra warm clothing
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Road salt or cat litter to help with tire traction
  • Brightly colored flag or "Help" sign
  • Flashlight (with working batteries), matches or lighter
  • Tarp for sitting or kneeling in the snow for exterior work like a tire change
  • Small tool kit or multi-tool
  • Duct tape - for temporary fixes
  • High-calorie, non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Crucial medications

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