Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

The holidays are a time for celebrating with friends and family. However, the hectic pace of the holidays can also present several increased risks, such as: overcrowded roadways, adverse weather conditions, and limited daylight. Not to mention, drivers navigating unfamiliar terrain, as they make their way over the river and through the woods.

Then…there’s the fact that more than 90 percent of all those traveling for the holiday, will do so by personal automobile, according to AAA. This is an increase of 1.4 percent over last year. Why the increase? Low gas prices, of course! The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is expected to fall below $2.00 per gallon by Christmas Day.

To help ensure you and your loved ones stay safe during this year’s holiday season – Christmas and New Years – we’ve assembled some Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips that we hope will prevent distracted, risky driving while you’re on the go. We’ve also included suggestions for keeping clear of barricaded roadways and time consuming traffic incidents.

Our Top 6 Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

#1. Make Sure Your Car’s Ready for Winter Travel

Please don’t go anywhere in your car, unless you’ve thoroughly ensured it’s ready for winter travel, as far too many cars go off the road every winter due to driver negligence. The lights, oil, tires, belts and hoses, brake and power steering fluid, antifreeze, battery, and snow chains should all be given the green flag by a professional mechanic before hitting the open road.

#2. Don’t Get Stranded on the Side of the Road

If you will be traveling quite a distance this holiday season, it is very important that you keep your smart phone fully charged, and loaded with helpful travel apps (e.g. Google Maps, Waze, Gasbuddy, Hotel Tonight, iExit Interstate Exit Guide, and more are all great apps). It would be wise to have a phone charger in your car; in the event you need to recharge your phone as it is a necessary component of winter travel.

#3. Pack an Emergency Road Side Assistance Kit

You should never leave home without an emergency road side assistance kit – especially in the winter. These are so simple to put together. Make sure you have items such as a flash light, flare, gloves, extra blankets, jumper cables, an emergency cell phone, and food/water. Prepare your kit as if you could be stranded for a few days as it’s always better to have more than to risk running out.

#4. Don’t Leave Your Pets in the Car

You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving your pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather can be equally dangerous to your beloved pet’s health. If Fido is joining you on your journey, don’t leave them in your car, not only for a moment. Just like people, pet’s are at risk of hypothermia, frost bite, and even death in extreme conditions. Don’t risk their health; bring them inside.

#5. Tell Someone Where You’re Going

One rule of thumb when traveling, no matter the weather, is to always tell someone where you’re headed. Include your chosen route. A quick text before you start driving, to a close friend or relative, is all it takes to let someone know what way you’re headed. If something were to happen, at least your contact will have an idea of where you were headed. This information could mean all the difference in the world. Just don’t advertise it.

#6. Stay Focused

Traveling in cold, icy, and/or snowy conditions are dangerous. That’s why it’s vital that you stay focused on the road. This means NO texting and driving, eating and driving, or looking becoming distracted by the kids and driving. If you find it necessary to do any of these, safely exit the road. Staying focused on the road ahead could save your life. If you get tired while driving, always pull off the road to take a power nap, or grab some coffee: black.

Other Holiday Road Trip Safety Tips

  • Buckle up! Even if you’re just running to the store for some last minute eggnog, remember to ALWAYS buckle up. Not only is it the law; you life also depends on it.
  • Don’t drink and drive! Does your celebration include drinking? Designate a designated driver before the fun begins. Remind others to do the same. If necessary, take the keys of all holiday guests, thus ensuring everyone’s safety.
  • Plan your route in advance! When planning your route, it’s a good idea to check traffic and weather reports in advance. While technology is great, it’s recommended to always carry a backup; so don’t forget to bring along a paper map.
  • Follow the rules of the road! Refrain from speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, or cutting other drivers off. Remember excess traffic may mean you’ll have to travel below posted speed limits. Don’t respond to aggressive drivers.

From your friends at Action Barricade Company LLC., we want to wish you a very happy and safe holiday!

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Family Road Trip Survival Guide

family road trip

I love road trips! Just thinking of the many memories I’ve created, and will continue to create with my loved ones in tow, sends shivers of excitement down my spine. Road tripping, is my family’s preferred way of travel, as we enjoy venturing to area’s unknown and meeting new people along the way.

So how do you prepare for a family road trip? We each have our own way to ensure we’re ready, whether it’s a detailed packing list, or downloading your favorite songs and apps. Below you’ll find a collection of tips that can help you survive any road trip.

Plan Your Route Ahead of Time

You know your destination, but you have no idea what the best route is to take to avoid delay, or which pit stops you should make. You’ll save yourself, and your passengers, a lot of time and stress if you map out what route you plan on taking well in advance of your departure date.

Equally important, is to share your traveling dates and route with close family members or friends, just in case. One website that can help you plan your route as well as calculate costs, time, and distance is Roadtrippers. It’s also available as an iOS app.

Avoid Getting Hangry

Your energy is zapped, your stomach is rumbling, and you find yourself getting increasingly agitated – and to make matters worse the next exit is miles away. Your hunger has officially led to anger. Avoid getting hangry altogether by packing enough food to last you the entire road trip.

To avoid relying on junk food (which only zaps your energy that much quicker), pack healthier foods and drinks, even if it means bringing a cooler. You’ll thank us later. Some great options include energy bars, cheese sticks, nuts, and coffee as well as juice.

Pre-Charge All of Your Gadgets

Smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, portable DVD players; oh my! Dare we admit we can’t survive a road trip without these technologies? Probably not – and that’s okay. These technologies can, no doubt, make any family road trip more enjoyable; when they’re fully charged.

There’s nothing worse than getting an hour into an eight-hour trip and having one of the kid’s iPads run out of juice – let the backseat tug-of-war ensue. If you want to survive your road trip, make sure to fully charge all of your gadgets ahead of time, and bring plenty of extra batteries/chargers.

Download the Right Apps

A few must-have apps include Waze, which helps you navigate around traffic, and construction jams; iExit, which allows you to discover stop worthy restaurants and hotels, and other popular venues; and of course GasBuddy, which finds the cheapest gas. Available on both iOS and Android.

Err…On the Side of Caution

Opt for safety above all things – remember you’re hauling precious cargo! No matter how tight your schedule may be, it’s important to take plenty of breaks, stopping at scenic rest stops. Refrain from following too close to another driver, cutting them off, or honking your horn.

You never know what type of car troubles you’ll encounter on the road. That’s why it’s a smart idea to never leave home without a fully packed emergency road side kit. A road side kit should include the following tools and supplies:

  • Flash light(s)
  • Jumper cables
  • A first-aid kit
  • A bottle of fix-a-flat
  • Fire extinguisher (trust me)
  • Road flares or hazard triangles
  • A change of clothes, blankets, and food

Happy traveling from your friend’s at Action Barricade!