Can you believe the holiday season is already here? With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, you’re probably mentally preparing for all the time you’ll be spend on the road in the coming weeks. As more and more families head down the road to Grandmother’s house, this increased traffic brings increased safety risks.
Top Road-Trip Safety Tips
You probably exercise extra caution while driving during the months of November and December. If not, you can begin by implementing our Top Road-Trip Tips the next time you get behind the wheel.
● Properly maintain your vehicle. This is always important, but particularly so for long trips. If you’re overdue for maintenance, inspections, or oil changes, visit your local auto shop before you leave for the holidays.
● Plan ahead. Map your route in advance and consider when you’ll be passing through heavy-traffic areas. If possible, leave earlier to avoid rush-hour traffic jams.
● Keep a car-compatible phone charger in your console at all times. In case of an emergency, you’ll be thankful for a fully-charged cell phone.
● Never leave valuables uncovered in your car. Place larger items in the trunk or in a covered storage area.
● If you’re traveling with children, keep a close eye on them each time you stop. Remind them never to talk to strangers, and never let young children go to the bathroom by themselves.
Don’t Forget: Holiday Home Safety
With your focus on the destination ahead, it’s easy to forget one of the most valuable things you’re leaving behind: your home. Christmas trees, flashy lights, and out-of-town trips are cause for celebration, but they can also pose security and safety risks for your family. Avoid these common holiday home safety mistakes:
1. Refrain from posting your specific travel plans on social media. It’s tempting to share all the details of your family fun, but you can never be sure who will see your photos – and whether they’ll interpret your innocent post as an advertisement for an empty house! The best option is to post updates and photos when you’ve arrived safely back home. If you just can’t wait, stick with generic captions that don’t specify your out-of-town locale.
2. Check the cords before you deck the halls. More than 400 people die each year in electrical-related house fires. Begin each holiday season by checking your lights for frayed cords or cracked bulbs. Never connect more than one extension cord, either. And as lovely as they may be, don’t leave your Christmas tree or outdoor lights on overnight or while you’re traveling. Consider investing in a light switch timer if you want your lights to turn on at a specific time.
3. Move your spare key. Any would-be burglar will check under your door mat before forcing entry. If you keep a spare key hidden, remove it before leaving for a trip. The best option is giving it to a close friend who can check in every few days to pick up your mail and ensure that everything is in order.
4. Leave (a few) lights on. A dark house and empty driveway clearly signal that nobody’s home. But a house with lights blazing at all hours of the day may not be fooling anyone – not to mention the high electricity bill you’ll be stuck with at the end of the month. The light switch timer we mentioned in Tip #2 will come to your rescue in this situation as well! You can set the timer to turn lights on and off at specific times of day, which simulates your regular routine.
We hope these helpful hints will give you peace of mind as you celebrate the holidays with your family. Remember, if you are injured in a car accident or become the victim of another type of accident in Arkansas over the holidays, you may have legal rights to compensation for your injuries and losses. Taylor King offers a FREE consultation to anyone who thinks they may have a case; call today at 1-800-CAR-WRECK, visit our website at taylorkinglaw.com, or download the free Taylor King app to begin your evaluation today.