As the holiday season approaches, you and countless others will likely be travelling to visit family, some of whom may live quite some distance away. During any commute, you should be mindful of other drivers, but here are four tips that are especially important during longer trips:
1. Drive during times of lighter traffic.
With the number of people travelling around the holidays, you cannot expect to avoid traffic entirely. However, planning your drive to avoid the busiest times, if possible, makes for a safer trip. For example, you could consider leaving early in the morning, or in the evening after rush hour dies down, if it is a weekday.
2. Rest well beforehand and make frequent stops.
Drowsy driving causes many accidents every day. Make it a priority to get a solid eight hours of sleep before your trip, and plan for stops along the way. Even brief stops to stand and stretch your legs will help your body and mind stay alert. Water and food will help keep you alert as well, so plan meal breaks as needed.
3. Bring entertainment for your kids.
Drowsy driving is not the only reason for accidents. An overwhelming number of car crashes are caused by distracted driving, which can include anything from texting, to eating while driving, to having your kids whine or beg for your attention. The more your kids are preoccupied during the drive, the less you need to worry about them causing potential distractions.
4. Stay aware of other drivers at all times.
It may sound obvious, but always staying focused and aware of other drivers’ positions and behaviors is one of the greatest preventative measures to accidents. Too often, people change lanes without signaling, change lanes without looking whether someone is next to them, brake too quickly or perform other dangerous acts that put other drivers at risk. In turn, try to make sure you are not contributing to any of these acts by failing to signal or watch who is around you.
If you prepare thoroughly and keep these tips in mind, you will hopefully enjoy a stress-free trip to your holiday gatherings with the lowest possible risk of an accident.