With less than three weeks until Christmas, many consumers are finalizing their holiday plans. While presents and food are important items, BBB recommends putting some extra thought into your travel arrangements, especially if you plan to take a road trip. December is already bringing low temperatures and rain to Texas, which creates potentially hazardous situations for drivers who are not prepared.
To stay safe on the way to Grandma’s house, or wherever your holiday travels take you, BBB advises to do the following:
Create a vehicle safety kit. Holiday driving often includes the threat of dangerous winter weather. Snow and ice lead to accidents, car troubles, long delays and road closures. You can prepare for bad weather by creating your own safety kit. Basics for the kit include blankets, a flashlight with extra batteries, a radio, a first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, an ice scraper and warm gloves.
Take your car in for routine maintenance. If your car is due for a checkup, take it in now to make sure it is safe to drive for long stretches. At the very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure. If you plan to drive through serious winter weather, consider getting snow tires.
Make sure your phone is charged. If you experience car trouble, your cell phone can come in handy. Make sure it is fully charged before you leave home and take a car charger with you if you have one. If you need a tow service or locksmith, visit m.bbb.org or download the BBB iPhone App to find businesses you can trust when you’re away from your computer.
Start early and slow down. The best way to fight holiday traffic is to give yourself extra time to make the trip and avoid speeding. Speeding leads to accidents, which slow traffic and cause bottlenecks.
Minimize distractions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Program your GPS before starting your trip, and when you’re behind the wheel, don’t text and drive and use a hands free headset when talking on the phone.