The buzz of Thanksgiving is now past us, and all those turkeys and binge parties are forgotten. But with Christmas just around the bend, many New Yorkers are revving their motors for the next road trip.
Whether you enjoy hired transport or driving yourself, driving during the holidays is even riskier than at other times of the year.
In addition to storm-related hazards such as fog, snow, ice, and reduced visibility, you’re likely to be sharing the road with more than your usual share of fatigued or impaired drivers, who could be stressed by the holidays and thinking of things other than their motoring responsibilities.
Whatever your plans this holiday season, here are nine tips to improve your safety and that of your loved ones during the holiday, and especially the covid-19 pandemic weary season:
1. Plan Ahead of Time
Plan your trip ahead of time by considering these tips:
- Will you and your family be required to quarantine upon arrival at your destination?
- Will there be sufficient space for social distancing at your destination?
- Do the people you are visiting have any symptoms of covid-19?
- Are there reported cases of covid-19 at your destination?
- Does any member of your entourage or a member of your destination have any condition that makes them high risk for covid-19?
2. Carry Sanitizing Supplies
Make sure to bring along some sanitizing supplies in your car and ensure they’re properly stored away from sunlight. (The Centers for Disease Control recommends sanitizers that are at least 60 percent alcohol). You may also want to pack paper towels, latex gloves, disposable bags, and disinfecting wipes.
3. Is Your Car in Good Condition?
Before hitting the road, service your vehicle in advance. Any breakdown on the highway could leave you exposed to the virus. For example, you may be forced to call a tow truck, drive to a hotel, which could leave you exposed to covid-19.
4. Emergency Kit
Ensure your car has an emergency kit that includes first aid, snowbrush, windscreen scraper, reflective triangles, tire chain, gloves, matches and lighter, flashlight and extra batteries, extra clothing, and different shoes, and a fully charged mobile phone and charger. As a precautionary measure, keep the folks you left behind about your travel progress periodically.
5. Bring Along Food and Plenty of Water
Carry enough food, water, extra blankets, spare tires, and if your pet is coming along, ensure to carry pet food and protective gear. While on the move, remember to wear a mask while inside and outside the vehicle. Most experts agree that wearing a mask is the best way to protect yourself and others against Covid-19.
6. Avoid Traffic
If you’re unable to avoid the peak times, consider taking an alternative route. While rolling down the interstate and setting the cruise may seem the fun way to go, why not opt for the country roads?
Country roads are more scenic and will likely prevent you from getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
7. Keep Well behind the Car in Front
If you’re driving during the day and in the right weather conditions, ensure to keep well behind the vehicle in front of you. And if you’re driving in extreme weather conditions, like heavy snow or rain, fall way back the car ahead of you. This way, you’ll give yourself an escape route should something happen suddenly in front of you. And if an aggressive driver is behind you, allow him to pass, or better, pull over.
8. If You Must Stay at a Motel, Sanitize Your Room
Because of COVID-19, US health sanitation guidelines are more stringent than ever. And with more and more hotels shutting down due to the restrictions, many facilities are only left with skeleton staff.
Still, it’s a good idea to sanitize your room if you must stay in a motel. You’ll want to use disinfecting wipes on all high-touch areas, including the door countertops, door handles, and toilet handles.
If you’re staying several days, tell the hotel manager that you do not want housekeeping service. Doing so will limit the number of people visiting your room while also giving you more control over the sanitation process. The more people you interact with, the more chances of catching the virus.
9. Managing money while on the go
Finally, the most essential item while on the move, money. Carrying money as you travel is a balancing act between utility and safety. Keeping your money safe deters thieves, but when the time comes to pay for something, you still want to access it as quickly as possible. Here are some essential facts to remember:
- Separate cash from credit cards
- Keep small bills handy
- Buy an anti-theft bag
- Carry a dummy wallet
- Use local currency
- Use hotel safes where possible
When it comes to carrying cash, under-clothing storage accessories have endured until money belts arrived on the scene. Though many people still prefer them, newer options, including long johns, bra stashes, underwear, vests with built-in pockets, are still in vogue.
Body storage accessories come in handy if you’re staying in someplace that lacks a secure place to store cash and other valuables.
Body storages aren’t good wallet alternatives since delving under your clothing for cash advertises where you’re hiding the money in the first place.
And if you think a fanny bag can replace a money belt, know that it can be more attractive to thieves since it makes you stand out.
The American Automobile Association, AAA estimates that approximately 107 million Americans will travel between December 23 to January 4, making it a 3.1 percent increase from 2019 and a historical high.
This has been attributed to strong economic times and increasing consumer confidence.
At Pierre Paul Driving School, we’re focused on making your driving better this year. And we care about your safety during this time of the year. This is why we invite you and your friends to book driving lessons with our driving school to enable you to drive more safely and make your holiday a memorable experience.