It’s time for the holidays again, which inevitably means it’s time for many Brits to take road trips. While you’re packing your bags and stacking gifts in the boot of your vehicle, be sure to take safety precautions so that you’re not also filing a whiplash claim when you return home again. These winter driving tips can help keep you and your family safe.
1. Always be prepared. Before heading out on your Christmas holiday, remember to make sure that your car is stocked with emergency supplies, including enough bottled water and nutrition bars for each passenger, a blanket, a flashlight, a tool kit, and emergency phone numbers for roadside assistance. This will ensure that you and the entire family is safe in the event of a road accident.
2. Be extra careful when driving on ice. Whenever you are driving over snow or patches of ice, you should slow down because you may not be able to control the vehicle’s every move. Remember to turn on your headlights, regardless of time of day, so that other drivers can see you approaching at a safe distance. And you should triple the amount of distance between you and other drivers on the road in case you need to brake for some reason. If you do have to brake, make sure that you do it gently to stay in control of the wheels.
3. Keep kids distracted. Because you want to focus on the road, and not the argument going on in the back seat, make sure to stock the car with plenty of games to occupy little ones’ time. You can even bring along a portable DVD player or a tablet so that they can watch movies. Just make sure their merriment isn’t too loud; noisy games can become bothersome for you.
4. Make sure everyone has on the appropriate safety belts. Driving safely is your responsibility, but you should also make sure everyone else is being safe. It is common for passengers to want to remove seat belts during long drives because they can become uncomfortable. Look for seat belt accessories that pull the straps away from shoulders to reduce the likelihood that antsy kids will want to undo them.
5. Know what to do if you have to stop. Whether you experience a road accident or a mechanical failure, knowing what to do afterward is just as important as taking the right steps during the incident. If you sense that the car will stop, try to pull over while the engine is still running. Place caution triangles or tie a brightly coloured piece of cloth to the antenna so that oncoming cars can see you. Once back inside your car, call for assistance and only open the door for uniformed workers or police officers.
Accidents happen, but that doesn’t mean that the outcomes can’t be mitigated. Keep your family’s safety in mind at every turn, and you’ll be sure to make it to your holiday celebration safely and soundly.