Dec 07 2010
With the holidays right around the corner, chances are you’ll be taking at least a road trip or two to visit family and friends or experience the joys of the season in another city or town. The Garage Plan Shop recommends following these travel safety tips provided by a traffic safety researcher.
1. Prepare your car – Make sure your car is in tip-top shape before setting out on a road trip. Change your oil and check tire pressure and antifreeze levels.
2. Map your travel plan – If your road trip is going to take more than a single day’s travel, consult maps and find hotels along your route in which to stay for the night. Also use resources like Google Maps and travel sites to locate hotels along your route. Don’t forget to bring your maps with you.
3. Drive safe during the day – Research shows roadways are most dangerous to travel early in the morning and late at night when drivers are more likely to be tired or intoxicated. Limit your driving times between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm. Depart early and plan to be at your destination or hotel before it gets too late.
4. Plan to take breaks – Plan to pull over every 2-3 hours to stretch your legs, give your eyes a quick break and recharge. If you are traveling with another driver, take turns driving in shifts so no one experiences fatigue.
5. Wake up or catch up on sleep – Statistics report in 2009 alone over 100,000 car crashes were due to drowsy driving. If you are driving in shifts with another driver, take a nap while the other person is behind the wheel. If not, pull over in a safe well-lit place and take a quick power nap. But perhaps the best idea is plan to check into your hotel early in the evening so you can go to bed early and catch up on sleep for the next day’s drive.
6. Do not drink – It is not safe and it is illegal to drink and drive. Studies show a single alcoholic drink can cause important changes in cognition affecting your ability to drive. So, skip the beer at lunch and wait until you are at your destination (a holiday party) where you can relax, celebrate the holidays and not have to worry about getting behind the wheel later.
The holidays are a wonderful time for everyone. Make sure you and your loved ones enjoy them by staying safe when taking a holiday road trip.