Each holiday season, travelers flock to the skies and highways to reunite with family and friends. It is projected that over 43 million people will travel more than 50 miles from their home during the holiday season, 90 percent of those people will travel by car. Staying safe on the road is an increasingly important task, especially for seniors who are driving long distances. The following tips can help drivers stay safe during the holiday hustle and bustle.
- Carry a car safety kit: Driving during the holidays can include the threat of winter weather. This includes black ice and snow, which cause hundreds of accidents each year. This is especially true for drivers who are not used to driving in such dangerous conditions. Seniors can prepare for inclement weather by carrying a safety kit in their car at all times. The kit should include things like blankets, warm gloves, a flashlight, a small first aid kit, jumper cables, a spare cell phone battery and some non-perishable foods.
- Take car for a tune-up before traveling: The holiday season is no time to be stuck on the side of the road. When a car breaks down, it can easily ruin holiday cheer. Seniors can avoid this headache by simply taking their automobile in for a tune-up before making the trip. Mechanics should check fluid levels, air pressure in all tires and windshield wipers.
- Leave early and drive slowly: Millions of people will be sharing the roads this holiday season. Seniors should give themselves extra time to meet their destination. This extra time will eliminate the urge to speed. Traveling faster than the speed limit in hazardous conditions can often lead to accidents, speeding tickets or even fatal wrecks.
- Eliminate distractions: Around 25 percent of all accidents occur when people are distracted. When seniors are behind the wheel, it is vital for all distractions to be eliminated. Seniors often have diminished eyesight, hearing or reaction time. For those reasons, seniors must be vigilant when it comes to road safety. Avoid using cell phones, reading maps or reading a GPS while driving.