Written by Guest Author Matt Milstead
Every Christmas season is one of the most dangerous times to be traveling on our roadways. Not only do you have to navigate through unpredictable winter weather, but you also must try to stay calm in holiday traffic. Here are some tips to help you prepare for hitting the road this season.
Gather Emergency Tools
Having the tools you need can turn an accident or breakdown into a minor inconvenience instead of a major tragedy. Put together an emergency kit and keep it within your reach – in case you need it. Things you should include in your emergency tool kit are:
- A wrench the right size for your lugnuts
- At least one LED Flashlight
- A tool that can cut the seatbelt and break the window in an emergency, such as resqme
Some other things besides tools that may definitely come handy are blankets, food and water. These will be essential in case you get stuck in the snow for an extended period of time. It’s also smart to have an extra phone charger, so you have enough battery life to call for help.
Prepare Your Car in Advance
Having emergency tools with you is a great safety net, but preparing your car for the trip is one of the best things you can do to ensure the safety of your family on the road. For that reason, it is great idea to:
- Get all of your tires and fluids checked by a mechanic to ensure that they are at proper levels.
- The mechanic should also check that your brakes are working properly.
- The condition of the belts, hoses and battery in your car should also be checked.
- It’s smart to change the oil in your car if it has not been changed recently.
- The antifreeze should be topped off.
Schedule a visit to the mechanic soon as possible, as they tend to be busy this time of year and you want to make sure they are not in a hurry while they’re working on your car.
Get a Health Check
If you or one of the people that will be travelling with you suffer from a chronic disease, it is a good idea to visit a health clinic that focuses on the travel related issues. Not only can they provide necessary immunisation (in case you are planning to visit an exotic country, for instance), but more importantly, you can obtain a supply letter for your medications. this letter will detail the medications you are taking as well as the dosages. It important to have it since it will state that you will personally be taking the medication and are not planning to sell it.
Plan Your Driving Hours
It’s impossible to account for every delay in traffic before you leave, but planning out your route and driving hours is a great way to prepare for your trip. Try to drive during the hours that you are normally awake, as driving when you are tired slows your reaction time. It’s also smart to take a break at least once an hour so that your mind stays fresh and alert. Be sure to build extra time into your driving schedule to account for delays. Getting frustrated because you are running late for a family gathering makes the car ride miserable for everyone involved.
Hitting the road during the Christmas season can feel stressful at times, so planning ahead and making sure that you have the proper tools with you will minimize stress and help you have a merry Christmas.