The holidays are hectic enough without an accident, but what do you do when your road trip to see family goes awry? The weather forecast didn’t mention the sudden snow storm or 30-degree temperature drop. Your kids all need a potty break in the middle of the highway. Something fell and spilled in the back of the car with all your luggage and you have no idea what it is or what it’s ruining. With everything going on, you might not even think of the worst case scenario: car trouble. Here are three tips to avoid some of the holiday road trip disasters and make it to your destination jingling all the way.
Holiday Road Trip Disasters:
What to Do to Prepare for Everything Going Wrong
Leave Early or Late
Avoid crowds and crazy traffic by traveling a few days earlier than the holiday or leaving several after. This type of flexibility isn’t available for everyone, so if you’re actually close to your destination, consider making the trip on the day of the holiday itself. Traffic is virtually gone, streets are empty and you’ll be able to have a smooth trip with minimal stops or delays.
Winterize Your Car
Make sure you aren’t heading out into any inclement weather conditions without proper snow tires and chains or a faulty heater. Prepping your car for winter in the fall is a great way to guarantee you won’t run into any dangerous situations on the road. To get your car ready for winter, make sure to do the following:
- Check engine coolant and antifreeze levels
- Check your tire pressure and tread depth
- Get winter windshield fluid
- Talk to your mechanic about switching to winter oil for your next change
Pack an Emergency Winter Kit
In the event of a breakdown, your car could be your only source of shelter for hours. The heater might not work, or you could be stuck idling in negative temperatures until help arrives. To ensure that everyone stays warm and avoid medical emergencies, pack an emergency winter car kit that includes enough water for everyone to last at least a day, thermal blankets, gloves and socks, a coat, a flashlight and batteries, snacks and a radio to hear traffic reports and any emergency advisories in your area. You also don’t want to forget an external charger for your smartphone to ensure you’ll always be able to send a message or call for help when you need it.
Make sure you do everything you can to ensure everyone arrives merry and safe at the destination. If something happens that’s out of your control, consult the proper people. For example, if you are involved in a car accident, you may want to speak with a doctor or injury lawyer so you know what steps to take in the future. You and family are the most precious gifts riding in your car this season. Stay safe and have a holiday filled with friends, family, and fun.