Every year, holiday travelers take to the skies and ride the rails, but most hit the highways. This year, AAA projects 43.6 million people will travel at least 50 miles from their home – approximately 90 percent of whom are expected to drive – over the Thanksgiving holiday. Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona has some tips to help you stay safe on the road this holiday season.
- Create a car safety kit: Holiday driving may include the threat of dangerous winter weather. Snow and ice can lead to accidents, especially for Florida residents who may not be used to driving in such conditions. Prepare for bad weather by creating a safety kit that includes blankets, flashlights with extra batteries, a radio, a first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, an ice scraper and warm gloves.
- Take the car in for a checkup: Breaking down can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit! Take your car in for a checkup before making the trip. At the very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tires. If you plan on driving through serious winter weather, consider getting snow tires.
- Start early and slow down: You will be one of millions traveling for the holidays. Give yourself extra time to make the trip. Don’t speed: speeding leads to accidents and traffic tickets, both of which delay your trip even more. Anticipate delays and schedule appropriately.
- Take your BBB with you: When you’re away from home and in the midst of an emergency, it’s hard to know which businesses – such as tow trucks and locksmiths – are trustworthy. BBB’s free iPhone app and mobile website can help you find businesses you can trust when you can’t get to a computer.
- Drop the distractions: Make sure you’re not driving when turning to BBB! According to the National Safety Council, nearly 25 percent of accidents happen when people are distracted by talking on their cell phones or sending text messages. When you’re behind the wheel, don’t send or read text messages or surf the web. If you think you’ll be tempted to talk on the phone, turn it off, put it on silent or hand over control of the phone to another passenger. And nominate someone else to fumble with the GPS.
For additional information and advice you can trust, start with www.tucson.bbb.org.