We are quickly approaching the time of year that many of us spend traveling to see friends and family. Although some might opt to fly, many of us will be driving long-distance during the holidays. Getting ready for a road trip can be time consuming. You have to figure out where you’re staying, what to pack, and which route to take. As you prepare for your holiday road trip, don’t forget to plan the most important part: making the actual driving as safe as possible. To start, here are some things you can do to protect yourself while spending hours on the road:
- Take care of yourself: Being well rested will help you endure driving over long stretches of road for hours on end; get enough sleep the night before, especially if you plan on driving alone. Plan out rest stops along the way so you can get out of the car and stretch. Take healthy snacks and water along so your energy levels won’t drop.
- Examine your car: No matter how old your car is or how well it runs, checking it over before you begin your drive can help prevent complications that might happen later on. Don’t forget to pack an auto emergency kit, and make sure your spare tire (if you have one) is in good working order.
- Keep an eye on the weather: Snowstorms can catch you off-guard if you aren’t watching for them. The same goes for freezing rain, dense fog, and high winds. Knowing what the weather will be like when you’re driving and regularly checking on it during your trip can save you from getting in an accident.
- Drive defensively: You can never predict how other drivers might act, so remember to watch what other vehicles around you are doing. Be wary of large commercial vehicles, semi convoys, and other drivers who switch lanes suddenly.
- Use multiple navigation systems: Paper maps might be a bit outdated, but they won’t run out of battery or take you down a wrong road because they weren’t updated. A GPS is a great navigation system—but it’s always a good idea to have back-up. Plan on using multiple navigation systems, particularly if the route you’re taking is new to you.
- Update your auto insurance policy: Know exactly how your vehicle is covered by your auto insurance policy before you start on your road trip, and update it if necessary. Doing this can save you a lot of trouble if you happen to get in an accident or your car is broken into while you’re driving to your destination.
Road trips are a regular part of the holiday season for many of us, and as such should be stress-free and safe. Here at Reed Street, we want you to be prepared for traveling long distances during this busy time of year. Contact us if you would like to update your auto insurance policy or if you have questions about your existing policy.