It’s that time of the year again. There’s turkey, football, family, decorations, and for many of us living in the Rio Grande Valley, travel up north. While the holiday season is a time of cheer and thanksgiving, it’s also important to remember the roads can be dangerous if we are not wary of our own actions and those of other drivers.
At J. Gonzalez Law Firm we want to ensure this holiday season is not only special for you and your family, but also safe. That’s why we have assembled 10 holiday driving safety tips to get you to your destination and back home safely again.
While you should always remember the universal rules of the road – no speeding, texting, or drinking and driving – there are a number of additional tips to make your trip more enjoyable and safe. Please consider the following:
- The first rule of the road is to make sure your vehicle is properly operating to take a long trip. You’ll want to check the lights, oil, tires, belts and hoses, brake fluid, antifreeze fluid, and the condition of the battery. Double check to ensure your car is prepared for winter conditions by checking the thermostat, exhaust system, heater, defroster, and carry a windshield scraper for ice or snow removal.
- Plan your route in advance and carefully around local weather reports. You can check weather conditions on the National Weather Service Also, allow plenty of time to travel as construction or other road conditions can slow you down. Consider bringing along a paper map in case your GPS system fails to work properly.
- Keep an emergency kit in your car. While the McAllen metro area doesn’t experience much cold during the fall and winter seasons, weather conditions can fluctuate throughout the rest of the state and further north. Your emergency kit should include: windshield brush, ice scraper, gloves, blankets, extra clothing, a flashlight, batteries, and water. Also make sure to keep tools and jumper cables in your trunk.
- The winter and fall seasons bring about a lot of fog, rain, sleet, ice, and sometimes snow. If you find yourself driving in poor visibility, drive carefully, slowly, and allow some distance between you and other vehicles.
- The holiday season is meant to be a time of relaxation, but spending time on the road doesn’t always provide this. Being frustrated can easily lead to bad decisions and risky behavior behind the wheel. You’ll want to drive defensively, but don’t respond to aggressive drivers by driving aggressively yourself. Getting to your destination 5 minutes earlier while breaking traffic laws isn’t worth your safety or the safety of other families this holiday season.
- Obey traffic laws as they are meant to keep everyone safe on the road. From speed limits to stop signs, do your family the favor and follow the rules.
- Does your car have anti-lock brakes? Be aware of how this can affect your driving on slick roads. If your car does have anti-lock brakes, remember to press and hold the brakes in a skid, as your vehicle’s system will work to automatically restore traction.
- Always use seat belts; they are meant for everyone in the vehicle, not just the passengers sitting in the front. Make sure children are properly placed in age-appropriate child-safety seats as well.
- Get a good night’s rest the day before departing from your house. Also, make sure to take regular breaks as needed to ensure your safety on the road. Pull over and take a moment to regain some energy before getting back on the road.
- While not driving related, it’s still important to remember to secure your home when you leave. Also, do not post on social media sites that you are away, as possible robbers view this as an invitation to an empty house. Ask a relative or neighbor to check on the house.
The attorneys at J. Gonzalez Law Firm want you to enjoy safe traveling this holiday season.
Unfortunately, being the safest driver on the road doesn’t mean everyone else is following the same rules. If you or a loved one have had to suffer through a catastrophic car wreck, then look no further than J. Gonzalez Law Firm for legal representation to get you the justice your situation warrants.
Our attorneys are here for you every step of the way. Contact us at (956) 630-6700 for a free case evaluation. We service the entire Rio Grande Valley, from Brownsville to McAllen and on up to Rio Grande City, and everywhere in-between.