7 Tips for holiday road travel

It's that time of year again. With Thanksgiving now in the rearview mirror; we begin to solidify our holiday travel plans for the month of December. Whether your destination is one hour away or ten hours away, use the following tips to ensure the safest holiday road travel possible.

1. Plan your route ahead of time

One of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents is due to distracted driving. Avoid taking your eyes off the road as much as possible by mapping your route ahead of time, especially if you're driving somewhere you've never been. Also, make sure to give yourself more than enough time to reach your destination. The roads tend to be much busier during the holiday season causing longer commutes, so plan accordingly.

2. Get your vehicle checked

Stop by your local auto repair shop, let them know you're leaving for a road-trip and ask them take care of any necessary maintenance. No matter how far you're traveling, make sure your vehicle is properly maintained for the trip.

Additional tip #1: Pick up an extra bottle of windshield wiper fluid. This is an easy thing to overlook and can become distracting and dangerous if you run out. If you're traveling to or through a cold weather state, double-check that the wiper fluid contains anti-freeze.

Additional tip #2: Verify that all seatbelts in your vehicle are working properly. Not only is this an extremely important safety function, it is also illegal to ride without a seatbelt. Any passengers 16 years of age or older can be cited for not complying with Tennessee seatbelt laws.

3. Pack extra warm clothing

This is always a good idea, especially if you're traveling to a state with colder weather. Don't get stuck without proper attire.

4. Keep valuables out of sight

Keep your valuables (and any holiday gifts) safe by storing them in the trunk or somewhere out of sight. Always double-check that your car is locked and secure when leaving it parked. Even if you feel safe at your destination, it's better to err on the side of caution.

5. Do you have roadside assistance?

You might have roadside assistance built into your car insurance plan or maybe it's included by your car manufacturer. Check out your options, even if you don't want to sign up it's a good idea to know what steps to take should you find yourself in an emergency situation.

6. Get a car charger for your cellphone

Our cellphones are a crutch for communication and even though you shouldn't be on your phone while driving you should absolutely make sure your phone is fully charged whenever you're on the road. Accidents happen, emergencies occur and it is very important to be prepared.

7. Don't travel too long each day

Long distance travelers should plan ahead for any necessary stops. If you're feeling tired, don't push yourself. It's never worth it to put yourself or others in danger. Make sure you're awake and fully aware when behind the wheel.

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