If you are like millions of other Americans, you’ll be traveling to some sort of soirée or party during this holiday season. These holiday driving tips will help you get to and from your parties as safely as possible:
1. Always buckle.
You should make it a habit to always buckle, whether the roads are covered in snow, or it’s the middle of summer. Whether you’re driving or you’re a passenger, buckling can save your life. Children should be in size-appropriate car seats or booster seats. Utilizing these will decrease the chance of serious injury by 80%.
Teens are also susceptible to injury without a seatbelt. Not using a seatbelt is one of the leading causes of teen driving injuries. And don’t forget to keep pre-teens in the back. The front seat is not safe for children 12 and under.
2. Take off the coat.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but a coat in the car can be dangerous for children in wintertime. Puffy or bulky outerwear prevents harnesses and belts from securely fastening your child into their seat. To keep them both safe and warm, buckle the child in first, and then put the coat or a blanket on top of their buckled body.
3. Follow speed limits.
Speed limits are often set for the highest recommended speed in dry conditions. When precipitation strikes, you’ve got to slow down. Snow, sleet, and hail are all reasons to stick below the posted speed limit.
4. Avoid distractions.
It’s hard to drive any distance without getting at least one notification on your phone. Decide before you start the car that you will drive without distractions. We know that texting while driving is bad, but Instagramming and driving, Snapping and driving, Googling and driving, and watching TikToks while driving are all just as dangerous. Whatever your phone has to offer can wait if it can’t, pull over.
Distractions aren’t just from your phone, though. Harmonizing with Mariah Carey and belting out All I Want for Christmas is You along with the radio, can become a distraction. Others in the car can become a distraction. The emergency towing service on the side of the road helping a car stuck in a snow bank can also be a distraction. Stay focused.
5. Practice in the snow.
In warm weather, you may feel comfortable behind the wheel, but vehicles react differently once snow is involved. Braking is trickier. Steering can feel a little different. Even driving after coming to a complete stop is just a little harder than before. Becoming familiar with how your vehicle handles snow in a safe and controlled environment allows you to practice without endangering others on a busy road. If you or your teen driver are experiencing your first winter as a driver, take the time to prepare for it.
6. Check your eyes.
You should have your vision checked annually. With so many things going on during the holidays, visiting an eye doctor might seem like something you could put off until you’re less busy. But make it a priority. If your vision changes, you become a liability to yourself and anyone else on the road with you.
7. Don’t drive impaired.
If you enjoy a little boozy eggnog at your holiday party, do not get behind the wheel to head home. You have options if your blood alcohol level is too high to drive:
- Call a cab or Uber. Catching a ride is as easy as making a reservation in an app.
- Hand off the keys to someone else. Have a partner or other adult traveling with you? Decide on a designated driver beforehand.
- Call a towing company. Did you know you could utilize a towing company to get you and your car home when you’re too impaired to drive? A tow truck is a great alternative to a cab. Otherwise, your car will be stuck at the party without you. Calling a tow company will get you and your vehicle both home safely. At Roadside Rescue, we offer this service. Paying a tow fee will be less expensive (and a lot safer) than a DUI.
Remember that driving impaired includes driving while drunk, driving under the influence of drugs, and even driving while sleep deprived. Plan and ensure you have a safe way to get home after you ring in the new year.
8. Keep a safe distance.
Since it can be harder to slow down in the snow and you never know when the roads will have black ice, staying a safe distance from the car in front of you is critical. Wintertime is not the time to tailgate someone.
9. Be prepared.
Keeping an emergency kit in your car is especially important during winter months. We highly recommend winterizing your vehicle before any major trips. Check the weather and make sure it will be safe to drive.
No one wants to spend the holidays with a totaled vehicle and a broken arm. Enjoy this holiday season as safely as possible.
If you do need a tow truck between Bountiful city and Ogden city, give Roadside Rescue a call.