With the holiday season upon us, California’s roadways will become busier and more congested. Family gatherings, shopping for gifts and running last-minute errands put millions of motorists on the highway.
For those planning to hit the road, this time of year can bring extra stress. Therefore, keep the following in mind to ensure a safe trip.
1. Plan your route
Most cars have a navigation system that gives you step-by-step directions. Still, it’s better to view the whole route before leaving. You will have a better idea of what your journey will look like, including road closures and roadway construction.
2. Prepare your vehicle
Check your oil levels, tire pressure, and lights to ensure they work correctly. Have an emergency kit inside your vehicle that includes a first-aid kit, flashlight, water, non-perishable food and water.
3. Avoid peak travel times
Most people travel the day before a holiday and on Sundays. Plan to travel early in the morning or late at night when the roads are less congested.
4. Maintain a safe distance
Increased holiday shoppers typically lead to more stop-and-go driving. Other motorists may be distracted while looking for a parking space. Leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you.
5. Don’t drive drunk or drowsy
Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your driving ability. Furthermore, family gatherings and holiday parties can lead to sleep deprivation. Stay alert and sober. If you plan to drink, arrange for a designated driver or other form of transportation.
Holiday traffic can be frustrating, but staying patient and calm is essential. If you see another motorist driving aggressively or believe they may be intoxicated, pull over when you can safely do so and call 911.
The most precious gift you can give your friends and family this holiday season is staying safe during your travels.