It may be February now, but the winter won’t be leaving us anytime soon. If you live in area that gets a lot of snow, expect many more days of cold and ice before you see any signs of spring. Despite harsh conditions, the winter is a time of frequent travel. From winter holidays to ski trips to vacationing in warmer locales, most people are bound to do some traveling this season. If you plan on taking any long drives or road trips with the family, it’s important to prepare for whatever kind of weather the winter may bring.
Consider these car safety tips for the next time your family travels to make sure you arrive at your destination safe and sound:
- Keep up-to-date on current weather conditions. If you expect heavy snow or rain along your trip, try to wait until the storm passes to avoid getting caught in the middle of it.
- Only drive when you feel well-rested. It’s hard enough to drive long distances with kids, but it’s even worse when the weather’s bad. Make sure you are rested so you can focus on the road and keep your family safe.
- It’s always a good idea to have an emergency kit in the car, especially when driving conditions are bad and you’re at higher risk. Add items to the kit specifically for winter travel. Not only should you bring along a flashlight, first aid, maps, and jumper cables, but also blankets, an ice scraper, a portable weather radio, and a can of lock de-icer.
- Reduce your speed in snowy weather and avoid areas where there could potentially be black ice. This will help you to prevent skids before they happen and keep you from unintentionally sliding forward into another car.
- Set a good example by always wearing a seat belt. It’s more important than ever that your family buckles up when the weather’s bad, so make sure you’re buckled too. Then check that your kids are as well.
- Always tell your friends and family when you plan to arrive, and give them a call half way through the drive. That way, if you get stuck and can’t get help, your family will know that something is wrong.
- Bring your cellphone and charger. You’ll be able to get help if you need it, and you can always call someone if your directions are incorrect.
- That being said, know your route beforehand. Even if you plan on using a GPS, you may find that there are mistakes in the directions. If you make a wrong turn, you’ll be happy you have familiarity with the route, and you’ll be even happier when you manage to find your way again.
- Sign up for a motor club. Not only do motor clubs offer great flight discounts, vacation deals, and travel tips, but they can help you if you ever get stuck while driving. Roadside assistance is available for emergency situations so that you will never need to worry if you have a flat tire or if your car breaks down.
- Check that your tires have enough air. It’s important that everything function smoothly during your drive, and having well-inflated tires will help your car hold up in the snow and slush.
Forget about the freezing temperatures and icy conditions this winter! It may be cold, but that shouldn’t stop you from visiting your friends and family, no matter how far away that is. Until we see signs of spring, follow these car safety tips to ensure smooth sailing to your next travel destination.
Lindsay T. writes about travel on behalf of Allstate Motor Club, which provides emergency roadside assistance and other travel services. Visit www.allstatemotorclub.com for more on travel deals, driving resources and membership information.