Although almost everyone’s favorite Chevy Chase movie around this time is Christmas Vacation, nobody should take any lessons from Clark Griswold when it comes to driving safely during the holidays. Clark and his family only survive their situation by dumb luck, but below are some more thought-out tips for staying safe on the roads this season.
Keep Your Vehicle Well-Maintained and Properly Equipped
Whether you’re going to be taking a long trip or just cruising around town, you don’t want your vehicle to conk out over the holidays. Ensure that your automobile stays well-maintained by checking its oil, tire pressure, battery, windshield wipers, and various fluids regularly. If any of the dashboard warning lights come on, tend to them right away. And if you are driving in the mountains in snowy or icy conditions, make sure that you have the all-wheel-drive capability, the correct tires, or tire chains required by Colorado law.
Check Weather Conditions
As everyone is aware, the winter season is known for inclement weather. When weather conditions worsen, this increases the likelihood of traffic accidents. If you’re going to venture outside in your vehicle, it’s always best to take a quick look at the weather report before you go.
Don’t Text No Matter What
In Colorado, it is illegal to text when operating a motor vehicle. Doing so is dangerous any time of the year, but because of the increased traffic around the holidays, texting can be even more deadly. It’s also illegal to send emails or even Tweet, so make sure you wait until you get home to reach out to friends or pull over on the side of the road.
Keep an Emergency Kit in the Vehicle
An emergency kit located in your vehicle can help if you get into a tight spot. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make sure to include (at the very least) a flashlight, some road flares, a warm blanket, and a first aid kit. You can purchase a ready-made kit from any auto store or department store that will have other items, as well.
Take Breaks or Switch Drivers on Long Trips
If you’re taking a long trip, then you must be acutely aware of the possibility of becoming fatigued. You should always take some break every two hours or 100 miles. It’s also best to travel with someone and switch who’s driving periodically. If you get tired, you can pull over at a truck stop and take a nap or even go to a hotel earlier than expected. Saving a little time simply isn’t worth the danger of driving when you’re exhausted.
Watch for Large Delivery Vehicles
When you’re out in traffic over the holidays, you must watch for delivery trucks. Trucks are constantly delivering packages and other items all year round, but over the holidays, these deliveries will increase. This is especially true with services like UPS and FedEx, but semi-trucks are often more plentiful as well.
Traffic safety is a huge problem in this country, but with a little common sense and alertness, we can all stay safe out there. If the worst happens, however, and you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, contact the attorneys at Mintz Law Firm for a free consultation.