Holiday Driving Tips

Nov 19, 2010

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

For many of us, the holidays mean more travel, and that means more potential pitfalls in transit. Oftentimes drivers are battling seasonal weather, and what's more, the increased amount of traffic means fewer resources available to help if you break down.

Take Extra Caution On Holiday Roads

Here are a few tips to stay safe and keep those holiday plans on track.

  • Say no to holiday eggnog. Never drink and drive, but also be on the lookout for haphazard driving and drivers operating their vehicles under the influence. Unfortunately, the number of accidents and fatalities caused by drinking inevitably rises around the holiday season. You can take other steps to avoid drinking and driving.
  • Plan for shorter days. The more light, the safer the roads. During the winter months, an earlier sunset means you've got less daylight to work with. Ideally, plan your trip to avoid driving at night. If you think you're going to be out after dark, keep these night driving tips in mind.
  • Be ready if your battery dies. Cold weather takes its toll on car batteries. Double-check to make sure you've got jumper cables in your trunk. You never know when an easy jump-start could save you time and hassle – or when you could use them to help someone else.
  • Prepare to be stuck. A winter storm can leave you spending your holiday stuck in a drift or stranded in a blizzard, particularly if you're traveling on unfamiliar roads. Stock your vehicle with other items that might be helpful in case of a problem: thick blankets, extra food and water, coats and jackets, and a flashlight.

Don't Forget To Safeguard Your Holiday Presents

Whether it's the abundance of shopping or thieves channeling the Grinch, holiday season in the United States brings with it increased vehicle break-ins – especially at shopping malls around the country. To make yours a positive holiday shopping experience, be sure to:

  • Keep all receipts in your wallet or purse. Leaving the receipt in the bag makes it difficult for you to prove your purchase, and easy for thieves to return the items for cash.
  • Move your vehicle to another spot in the lot if you opt to drop off purchases to your vehicle at a midpoint in your shopping trip. Onlookers will think that you have left the mall, and your vehicle will be less of a target.
  • Make sure your purchases are out of sight. Keep them in your trunk or covered in the front or back seats.
  • Spread your shopping over several days. You are away from your vehicle for a shorter period of time each day, and shopping becomes less stressful.
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