The holidays are just around the corner. In between festive decorations and warm family meals, many people will be hitting the road in the coming weeks. Whether you're just heading over the river and through the woods or planning a cross-country holiday trip, there are a few precautions to take when you travel this season. Colder weather and higher traffic can lead to extra hazards on the road. Buckle up and make sure you celebrate carefully this year with these safe driving tips for the holiday season.

Take COVID-19 Precautions

The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping many families off the roads this holiday season. If you do end up driving this year, make sure you take the proper precautions to keep you and your passengers safe and healthy. Carry hand sanitizer in your car to use after handling gas pumps. Cleaning wipes can also be a good idea to quickly sanitize your steering wheel and console after a stop. You should also wear a mask anytime you get out of the car in a public area or when speaking to others outside your window, such as in drive-thru restaurants. Finally, do your best to avoid high traffic stops. For example, outdoor rest areas might be a better bathroom break than popular gas stations.

Prepare Your Car

For many families, the holidays bring your longest car rides of the year. Before you put on those extra miles, it's a good idea to service your vehicle. Oil changes, tire rotations, and other preventative care measures help keep your car running smoothly throughout your trip. A quick check-up can also ensure you're not taking any hidden issues on vacation with you. Once your vehicle is in tip-top shape, you should also stock it with everything you need for a safe trip. Extra blankets, a phone charger, and other emergency supplies can make life much easier if you do find yourself on the side of the road. Make sure you have all the appropriate emergency numbers on hand as well, including a roadside service line.

Plan Your Route

The holiday season brings some of the worst days to be out on the road. Between this heavy seasonal traffic and the heightened chance of inclement weather, the holidays bring a lot of extra complications to highway travel. One of the most valuable safe driving tips for this holiday season is to plan your route ahead of time. Check out radars and weather forecasts in the days leading up to your trip. Live road maps can also show you any construction zones or high traffic areas you might be running into along the way. If you have any flexibility in your schedule, it's worth it to plan around these hazards so you can have the easiest trip possible.

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