You may be one of the many people who drive some distance to see family or friends during the holidays. When you travel, follow these safe driving tips:
- Never warm up your vehicle in a closed garage.
- Warm up your vehicle before driving off. It reduces moisture condensing on the inside of windows.
- Pre-plan your trip, including scheduled rest stops and quiet activities that small children can do in the car.
- Leave your itinerary with a trusted neighbor or friend so that someone knows where you are.
- Don't overload your car or obstruct your view with suitcases and packages. Consider mailing packages to your destination ahead of time.
- Avoid eating a heavy meal before leaving for a trip. An empty stomach will help keep you from feeling tired or sleepy while driving.
- Get a good night's sleep before starting on the road.
- Follow other vehicles--especially trucks--at a safe distance. If you are driving in rain, ice or snow, be sure to increase your following distance. REMEMBER that black ice is invisible.
- Do not use cruise control. Winter driving requires you to be in full control at all times.
- Be sure to carry a winter-survival kit in your car that contains first-aid supplies, blankets, a compass, a flashlight with extra batteries, flares, a shovel and quick-energy foods such as dried fruits and nuts. Also take a bag of salt, sand or cat litter to use for traction in case your car gets stuck in ice or snow.
- Bring a cell phone if you have one but do not leave it in the car as the battery will freeze.
Winter Weather Traveling has been reprinted with permission from Coastal's Employee Handbook, "Holiday Safety--At The Top of Your List".