Driving Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

Posted on December 14th, 2017

Most families plan a holiday get-together this time of year. Whether you’re heading to Grandma’s cottage or to a favorite vacation spot to celebrate, these simple tips will help make your drive a smooth and safe one:

  •  Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. Give yourself a week prior to the trip to check tire pressure, replace wiper blades, refill windshield washer fluid, test the battery, and have tires aligned and rotated.
  •  Make an emergency road kit that includes: a first aid kit, jumper cables, an ice scraper, sand or traction mats, gloves, hat, warm change of clothes, drinking water and non-perishable snacks, and flashlight.
  • Map your route in advance. Know how you are going to get to your destination and have an alternative route in mind. Be prepared for busy roads and long gas lines. Leave earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Check the weather to know what kind of conditions you will be driving through, not just the weather at your home and destination. You may be going through mountain passes with heavy snowfall.
  •  Secure your valuables. The holidays are a tempting time for thieves and a vehicle full of items in plain view will attract them. Do not make yourself a target. Keep your valuables and wrapped gifts in the trunk or covered storage area.
  • Keep the kids busy and safe. Entertain the kids with books, games, DVDs, snacks, or whatever will keep them comfortable and stop them from distracting the driver. Remember to buckle kids in using safety belts, booster seats, or car seats, depending on age and weight. Remind children not to talk to strangers and always accompany them on bathroom breaks.
  • Take a break every two hours or 100 miles. Adults need to stop too. Breaking up the drive periodically will keep you more alert while you are on the road.

Helpful Links

Contributed by Health Promotions Coordinator, Mackenzie Crisp MPH, CHES from Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Health Departments.