If you’re planning to drive home to visit your family between semesters, the most important thing is that you’re able to get home and back to campus in one piece. Especially if you live in an area that has snowy or icy roads, getting from point A to point B can be a dangerous task. Luckily, if you’re prepared, you can increase your chances of being safe on the road and truly enjoying the holidays with your friends and family. To show you how, here are three tips for staying safe while driving home for the holidays.
Make Sure Your Car Is Prepared
To give yourself the best chance of staying safe on the road, it’s important that you’re driving in a car that can handle anything the winter roads can dish out. According to OSHA, preparing your car should include making sure your battery is working correctly, your tires have good tread, your windshield wipers are working well, and that your fluids are topped off and not frozen. If you can’t check these things yourself, consider swinging by a mechanic before you hit the road to head home for the holidays. The last thing you want is to have care trouble during bad winter weather.
Bring Emergency Items
While you’d like to think that nothing bad will happen to you while driving home in the winter, you should always try to be prepared for the worst case scenario. To do this, the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission recommends that you always keep certain emergency items in your vehicle. These things should include an ice scraper or snow shovel, sand or kitty litter, a flashlight or flares, jumper cables, blankets, and some emergency food and water. While these items will take up a bit of space in your car, you won’t regret having these emergency items if a real emergency presents itself.
Advice for Driving On Snow Or Ice
If you’ll be driving on the ice or snow on your way home from campus, it’s vital that you know how to adjust your driving to keep yourself and others safe. According to AAA, drivers should be extra careful when accelerating or decelerating on winter roads. Also, you should drive slower than the posted speeds and give other cars around you increased following distance. Keep in mind that it’s harder to start and stop when the roads are slick, so try not to stop completely or punch the gas if you don’t have to.
For those students planning to head home for the holidays, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you stay safe on the road and get to your destination and back in one piece.