Don’t let road trips take your holiday from ‘ho ho ho’ to ‘oh no’

With just a few weeks left in the year, people all across Tennessee are making the most of the holiday season by visiting friends and family. If this includes you, it is likely that you will be doing much of your traveling in your car, thanks in large part to factors like low gas prices and good weather.

However, there are still risks of being on the road during this time of year, and being involved in a car crash can derail your entire holiday. If you are getting ready to take a road trip, it can be crucial that you take some simple precautions to protect yourself and everyone else on the road.

  • Pay extra attention to your car: Before you get on the road and while you are driving, it is a good idea to be especially mindful of maintaining your vehicle. If it is making strange noises or acting oddly, you will want to investigate the problem. Getting your oil changed regularly and keeping a good supply of gas in the tank can help prevent roadside breakdowns.
  • Follow traffic laws: Getting pulled over for a traffic violation can be frustrating and costly. However, that’s not the only reason to make sure you follow the rules of the road. People who ignore traffic signs, speed or otherwise break the law are unpredictable and can easily wind up crashing into someone else, causing serious injuries.
  • Make sure you are fit to drive: Before you get behind the wheel, assess your condition. Have you been drinking? Are you very tired? Do you have texts or emails you want to return or send? Is your judgment clouded by extreme emotions? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it may be wise to wait before you turn the ignition.

Following these tips can be the difference between spending the holidays in the hospital or jail and spending the holidays with loved ones.

Source: Frommers, “Holiday Road Trips 101: Staying Safe on Highways and Byways,” Pauline Frommer, Dec. 11, 2015