Learn how to stay safe while spending the holidays with your loved ones.
Holiday travel occurs during the peak of cold and flu season. Germs can spread quickly on planes and trains, holiday parties, and family gatherings. Make sure your vaccines are up to date before travel.
Stay home if you develop symptoms of illness.
Be prepared for the unexpected
Be prepared if your trip gets extended. Take enough medication and vitamins to last longer than the intended duration of your trip. You may not be able to get prescription medications filled in another state, especially over a holiday. Ensure you have all your physicians’ contact information written down or programmed in your phone.
Prep your vehicle
Before hitting the road, give your car a once over. Gauge the air in the tires, check the oil and the battery charge, and inspect the windshield wipers. Be sure to stock your vehicle with emergency essentials, including:
- Cellphone charger and, ideally, a portable charging device
- Deicing windshield wiper fluid
- Drinking water
- Emergency roadside flares
- First-aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Nonperishable, shelf-stable food items like nuts and granola bars
- Tire-changing equipment, including a spare
Plan for inclement weather
Plan how to respond if you become stranded if you will be driving where winter weather could occur.
Remember, staying where you are is safer than trying to reach for help. Call 9-1-1 and alert the dispatcher to your location and the amount of food and water you have on hand. Call a friend or relative with the same information. Keep your phone charged.
Conserve body heat by wrapping up in a blanket or extra clothes in your car. Run the vehicle as needed to keep the interior moderately warm. Be sure to clear snow from the exhaust to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
You may dig yourself out if you have a shovel and sand or cat litter in your car. Do not overexert yourself, and keep your flashers on. Clear a path back to the road once you have cleared snow from the car's top, sides and windshield. Turn your wheels from side to side to get traction. Go slowly. If your tires spin, let off the accelerator. Going faster will only dig the vehicle in deeper.
Winter driving safety
Drive safely on snow-covered or icy roads by following these tips.
- Avoid fatigue by stopping to rest every three hours; switch drivers if possible
- Give yourself plenty of time to stop on icy or wet roads
- Leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you
- Pass snowplows with care
- Slow down
- Steer into a skid
- Stomp on antilock brakes; pump non-antilock brakes
These tips will help you safely get where you are going to enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones.
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