Holiday driving tips

If you plan on traveling during the holidays or at any time during the winter months, check your entire vehicle routinely to make sure everything is in good working order.

The most neglected parts on the vehicle are the windshield wipers and the wiper fluid. This is one of the most important items to check on your vehicle to make sure you have a clear field of vision while driving.

Always try to keep your gas tank at least half full at all times during the winter months. Create an emergency kit to carry in your vehicle. Some things it should consist of are a battery-powered radio, blanket, jumper cables, small fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food items, maps, tire repair kit, road flares or reflectors, matches, candles and kitty litter.

It is very important to listen to weather forecasts and road conditions before traveling. If needed, take alternate routes and stay on well traveled roads.

It is imperative that you contact friends or relatives and let them know the route you are taking and the approximate time you expect to arrive at your location.

Become familiar with your route and know where the turn offs and exits are at. In this day and age, we rely a lot on the modern technology of cell phones. The down side to this is that many areas do not have service or we forget to bring along a charger. If this happens, we have to rely to what we have on hand so it is always best to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We are also asking motorists to drive defensively. With the added holiday traffic, people are in more of a hurry to get places and they are more likely to make mistakes while driving. Always be on the lookout for the other person.

Also allow plenty of time to get to your location and take breaks often to stay refreshed and alert. Always buckle up.

By simply using your seat belt, you are reducing the chance of fatal injuries should you be involved in a crash by more than 45 percent, and it is one of the easiest ways to increase road safety. Seatbelt usage is a state law, and receiving a citation for not wearing your seat belt is no fun, especially during the holidays.

We know everyone likes to enjoy the holiday festivities, but if you are consuming alcohol it is always advisable to have a designated driver.

During the holidays, DUIs and alcohol-related accidents skyrocket and by using a designated driver this decreases accidents and promotes traffic safety.

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