The holidays are coming up fast, and no doubt people across the county are making preparations for their travels. There are dangers inherent with long distance travels, but even those trips that take you only a couple miles away can be hazardous if the weather is bad or visibility is poor. To help ensure that drivers remain safe whenever they go out this winter, the AARP is offering tips geared toward older drivers, but the tips would be just as valid to anyone heading out on the road.
One of the things that a person can do before inclement weather even approaches is make sure that their vehicle is ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead. You can bring your automobile in to a mechanic to get all vital components checked. Drivers might also consider having winter tires installed as necessary.
But these preparations extend to what’s contained within the vehicle as well. You need to have the necessary items on hand should your vehicle stall and put you in a dangerous situation. Such items include jumper cables, a salt bag, an ice scraper, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and more. You should also have such essentials as a cell phone and equipment that can be used to change a tire should it become necessary to do so.
Holidays typically bring people out in full force as they go about their shopping and other excursions. This heavy traffic load leads to a greater risk of an accident taking place. If you can avoid times that traffic is typically heavy, then do so. If you’re taking a road trip for the holidays, conduct some research and figure out what days vehicles are most typically criss-crossing the country, then avoid those days if possible. Finally, invest in a GPS and try to take routes that circumvent the busiest thoroughfares.
One of the biggest threats to highway safety in the modern world is the risk posed by the numerous distractions at our disposal. Do not text or talk on a cellphone while you’re driving, especially when the snow is falling hard or ice covers the ground. Also don’t become overly distracted with the many holiday decorations that people may have put up along the road. Plus, consider telling passengers what they can or can’t do when they’re in the automobile with you. People can pose just as great a distraction as anything else.
Finally, understand your own limits. Rest up before a long drive so you don’t succumb to fatigue. And only drive when visibility hasn’t been compromised by darkness or snowfall. Older drivers might also consider submitting to a driver safety course.