As much as the holidays are known for expressing gratitude, spreading joy, eating delicious food, and spending time with family, it is also often about traveling. For Thanksgiving, more than 40 million drivers venture the highways and byways to see family. And while we all enjoy that warm feeling that we experience during the holidays, it can be one of the most dangerous driving times of the year. Here, at E.P.M., we have assembled some holiday travel tips to help make sure your season is joyous and safe.
Nobody likes being late, especially when people you care about are waiting on your arrival. That said, you should expect traffic to be much thicker than normal. Because of this, you may want to leave for your destination 30-60 minutes early to account for the additional traffic.
You should also do a standard check of your vehicle to ensure your tires are properly inflated, windshield wipers are working and the fluid is filled, and that you have no service lights on. Few things put a knot in your gut quite like having your service engine light come on when you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.
Think Before You Pack
If you are traveling by car for a long holiday weekend, just putting a dish to pass in the vehicle is not enough… no matter how tasty it may be. Make sure that you are packing only what you really need for a few days and that it is properly secured so it doesn’t fly around if you have to make a sudden stop; this goes for children, as well.
Speaking of children, you’ll want to make sure they have snacks, water, and a book/game to keep them occupied and not always asking, “Are we there yet?”
Have Backup Travel Days
If you have the ability to leave for your destination a day earlier and/or return home a day later, that can really take a tremendous amount of stress out of holiday travel. You could also use a GPS that features real-time traffic information so you can find alternative routes that keep you moving. Finally, make sure that, no matter which day you choose, that you are well-rested so that you can be keen and alert in heavy traffic and/or poor weather conditions.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Speaking of the weather, you should keep an eye on weather reports. In November, December, and January, you could experience wind, rain, hail, sleet, snow, ice, or a combination of any of these things. If you feel that conditions are too hazardous for safe travel, choose a different day.
Drive Distraction Free
By now, you have surely heard all of the statistics and tragic news stories about distracted driving. If you are traveling with passengers, let them handle any of your texts that need to be answered. If you are traveling solo, wait until you are in a safe place to answer texts, even if you are running late and people are texting to find out where you are; this is also why leaving early helps.
If you are the one hosting guests from afar, part of the hospitality is ensuring that your driveway, walkways, and sidewalks are free from snow and ice. Added guests increases the likelihood of slip and fall accidents that could put a damper on your festivities.
The holidays are a wonderful time of year and we at E.P.M. wish you and your family all the best the season has to offer. And if you or someone you know needs assistance with commercial snow and ice removal services, please feel free to contact us online or call us at (517) 990-0110 today!