Staying Safe During Holiday Travels: 5 Seasonal Driving Tips

The holidays will be here before we know it, and for many, that means making a road trip to spend time with family. But before you hit the road, there are some helpful seasonal driving tips you'll want to review. This way, you can enjoy a safe and stress-free trip—wherever you may be traveling.

Give Your Car a Once-Over

In the few days before your trip, take the time to inspect your car and make sure it's ready for the road. Make sure that you're not overdue for an oil change and that your fluids get topped off. You'll also want to check your tires for excessive wear. If your tires are almost bald, you'll want to have them replaced before your trip. It's not worth taking the chance to drive on bald tires.

Also, don't forget to have your car's battery tested before you leave. Most auto shops will conduct a free battery test for you with no need for an appointment.

Check the Weather Forecast

Plan based on the weather forecast for the days of your trip. If there is a chance of a snowstorm when you're supposed to leave, it may be worth leaving a day early or late. That way you can avoid the storm. You don't want to be stuck driving in dangerous conditions so you can make it to your family function in time. If you don't plan around the weather you could miss the holiday gathering altogether.

Pack Energizing, Healthy Snacks

If you've got a long drive ahead of you, make sure you pack some healthy and energizing snacks. Snacks will help keep you alert and focused while on the road. Don't rely on energy drinks, sodas, and sugary snacks to keep you awake on the road.

Energy-packed foods you can bring include nuts, protein bars, and caffeinated tea or coffee.

Make Time for Breaks and Stops

You'll also want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to stop and take breaks as needed. This is especially important if you've got a long drive ahead of you. Every few hours, make sure you allow yourself and your passengers to stretch and use the restroom. You don't want to finally arrive at your loved one's house, only to feel exhausted and worn out. As a general rule, you'll want to stop for a break every 100 miles or every two hours.

Exercise Defensive Driving Skills

The holiday travel season brings increased traffic. You'll want to take this time to refresh your defensive driving skills. In other words, do your best to protect yourself on the road and foresee potential hazards. In practice, this means never assuming that other drivers will make the right decisions. Check your mirrors many times before merging or changing lanes. Do your best to avoid getting flustered by aggressive drivers. And, keep a fair distance from other drivers, especially in bad road conditions.

These are just a few driving tips to keep in mind as you prepare for your holiday travels. By following these guidelines, you'll have a safer and more enjoyable trip.