The holiday season is prime driving time for most folks headed out to visit family and friends, meaning more people on the road, more possible distractions, and more reasons to make sure you’ve taken all precautions to help keep you and your loved ones safe. According to a recent study, holiday weekends see on average an 18 per cent higher rate of fatal collisions versus non-holiday weekends. Taking the following simple steps can help prevent accidents, ensure your vehicle is ready for long trips, and even help you get some much-needed R&R during the holidays.
- Check your vehicle before hitting the road. During the harsh winter months, having a fresh oil change is critical. Using a hardworking motor oil like Quaker State Ultimate Durability with its signature top-notch cold weather pumpability will keep your engine running smooth. Other important components include appropriate tire tread and pressure, functioning wiper blades, and topping off antifreeze and coolant levels.
- Plan your trip and check driving conditions. In addition to mapping out stops for fueling, it’s helpful to incorporate extra time to get to your destination and account for inclement weather conditions or heavy traffic. It may even be necessary to take a break to decompress and reboot to avoid exhaustion or highway hypnosis.
- Don’t drink and drive. It may sound like common sense, but impaired driving-related incidents are typically on the rise during the holiday season. These types of incidents can be avoided by enlisting the help of a designated driver, taking public transportation, or using a car service. Each is a surefire way to have fun and still get home in one piece.
- Remain calm. Research shows that more than half of surveyed Canadians witnessed aggressive driving during the winter holidays. While there are tons of reasons to be stressed or rushing during the holidays, it’s important to control your emotions — especially while driving. Stay focused and take a deep breath. During the holiday season it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
- Remember your holiday cheer. The holidays are meant for merriment, togetherness, and relaxation. Being prepared, having a travel plan in place, and avoiding added stressors will give you peace of mind. Drive safe, drive smart, and plan ahead.
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