5 Tips for Safe Holiday Travel
Don’t Get Caught Off Guard this Holiday Season
In just a few days we will have Thanksgiving. After that, there are just a few short weeks until Christmas. For many that means loading up the station wagon, minivan, SUV, or car and heading over the river and through the woods. While driving safely seems like it should be a no-brainer; the rules change a bit when it comes to holiday travel.
Here are 5 tips to keep you safe while you’re traveling to visit with your loved ones this year. If you do happen to be involved in an accident, keep in mind that Big Sky Collision Center is here to help you get your vehicle restored to factory safety standards. No other auto body shop has as many certifications as we do, so why not bring it to the best?
Map Your Route
In all likelihood, you already know exactly how to get to grandmother’s house. It has been determined to be the fastest route with the fewest inconveniences (like toll roads when you’re outside of Montana). But with many thousands of other people on the road, all trying to get to the same place, is it still going to be the fastest? Have you accounted for any road construction or closed roads?
Take a few minutes to create a map, using the internet to discover closed roads, and have a couple of possible alternatives. Using an app like Waze can help you discover routes that are closed, slow, or where accidents have occurred. These last minute notifications can let you re-route so you’re not caught in a jam.
The roads are precarious this time of year. And they change within a couple of miles of each other. While the posted speed limit on the interstate says 80mph, you don’t have to go that fast. You especially should slow down a little when the roads aren’t completely dry.
Wet roads are dangerous roads. While you may have traction one minute, there can be spots that remain a little cooler where the wet road has turned into an icy road (this is especially true in shaded areas and over bridges). Losing traction here could result in a roll over when your vehicle skids sideways, and then hits dry or less slick pavement. Keep it slow to stay alive.
Get Enough Rest
For everyday life we know that getting at least 7 hours of sleep is imperative to normal functioning. Any less than that and we can’t process information quite as quickly. Mistakes happen, reaction times are slower, and we’re far less productive than if we’re well rested. And that’s just while we are at work. Get on the road, and things aren’t quite so nice.
Driving while tired is almost as bad as driving while intoxicated. And it happens a lot during holiday travel. You’re up late trying to get last minute preparations squared away, and the next thing you know it’s after midnight and you’re planning to leave at 6 the following morning. Plan ahead so that when your travel day comes, you don’t get caught making a mistake that you wouldn’t make if you were wide awake.
Keep it Pleasant
Driving in traffic can be irritating. It cuts into your schedule, everyone out there is, “an idiot driver” and all you want to do is relax with some hot cocoa in front of the fire. Long before you get steamed up and start border-line road raging, take the time to make a plan to keep it pleasant.
You can’t control what’s happening outside the vehicle, but you can control what’s happening inside the vehicle. During long road trips people get antsy; especially children. Thankfully we now have gadgets to keep them entertained. Make a plan to play some holiday travel games, bring books and puzzles, and when that last stretch is upon you, then break out the video entertainment.
Prep Your Trunk
You’re probably busy making sure you have packed everything that needs packed. You have your map planned, games and entertainment lined up, you’ve purchased all the gifts and made sure the oil and gas in the car are topped off. What ends up happening often is that you forget the emergency kit in your vehicle’s trunk. This is especially important on Montana’s back roads.
Be prepared this holiday travel season by double checking the essentials in the trunk. Make sure you have what you need in case you break down and nobody comes by for a while. Not sure what you need in the trunk? Check out the essentials for your car’s trunk and be prepared this winter.
Big Sky Collision Center Says to Be Safe!
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we want to make sure that you’re safe this holiday season. Whether you’re driving around town, around the state, or around the country, keep these 5 safe holiday traveling tips in mind so that no unfortunate accidents happen.
If you do happen to be in a minor fender bender (one where repairs can wait until you’re back in Billings), bring your dents to Big Sky Collision where our expert technicians will get your vehicle restored the right way.