Thanksgiving weekend doesn’t just mean pumpkin pie and football. For so many of our Action Air customers and team members, it also means loading up the car and driving to visit family or special friends.
But we won’t be alone. According to AAA, a whopping 37.2 million will travel 50 miles or more from home this holiday – a 3.1 percent increase from last year. Combine that with the blast of cold weather expected this month, and it’s time to brush up on a little winter driving know-how.
Our technicians are out on the roads every day, and so we are used to taking extra precautions to stay safe during inclement weather. But traveling long distances requires a little extra attention. Whether it’s an hour-long drive, or a long journey over hundreds of miles, consider the following holiday travel tips from us to you:
Watch the weather. Winter weather can change by the hour, so check conditions regularly. Also take into consideration the time of day you’ll be driving, particularly when temperatures drop and moisture freezes.
Prep your vehicle. Taking the time for basic vehicle maintenance before you travel can prevent a number of problems on the road. Fill up with gas the night before departure, and check fluid levels and wiper blades. Have your cooling system and radiator serviced days or weeks before your trip, and don’t forget to check the air pressure in your tires, making sure it corresponds with recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
Prepare for emergency. Make sure you have a basic first-aid kit in your car, along with bottled water, non-perishable snacks and blankets. In addition, include: flashlights and batteries; battery-powered radio; jumper cables; maps; tire repair kit; flares; cell-phone charger and a fire extinguisher.
Know your route. Familiarize yourself with the travel route ahead of time, including exit numbers, rest stops and potential road construction. Also, provide friends or other family members with trip details and a general time frame of departure and arrival.
Drive without distraction. Unfortunately, a major cause of traffic accidents is distraction. Make sure you are rested before you drive, and use your cell phone only when stopped or in the passenger seat. Never text while driving.
Practice patience. With congested roads and potentially hazardous conditions, allow plenty of time to get out of town and get to your destination. Be patient with your family and your fellow drivers on the road. Leave early, if possible, and avoid rush hour. Take plenty of breaks as needed, and remember that arriving safely is the only thing that matters.
We value all our customers, and we wish you safe and happy travels this holiday season. For more winter driving trips, visit the AAA website here.