Holiday driving: Top safety tips before hitting the road

As December kicks in, more and more people will be headed to various holiday destinations. While this is usually the happiest time of the year, a number of tragic incidents are recorded in the northern hemisphere, as various routes experience hazardous wintery conditions for driving.

Staying safe should always be a priority, and before hitting the road here are some safety tips to make your journey hassle-free.

1.     Get a vehicle fully equipped for travel

Before thinking of hitting the road, be sure to possess a vehicle that's fully functional and can survive the distance. A car rental can give you all the cover you need, and Holiday Autos are offering full insurance on cars including theft protection. You also get amazing deals plus free cancellation on bookings, 24/7 customer care service, and zero charge on credit card usage.

It's particularly great for family trips with optional extras such as additional drivers, special child/infant seats, GPS — Satellite Navigation System, ski racks, roof racks, luggage racks and Wi-Fi access at a considerable rate.

2.    Daylight driving is the best

While a lot of drivers would opt for night driving due to the serenity and limited traffic, accident statistics show it's a dangerous way to travel. Daylight driving might entail more heat and traffic, but it offers lesser drunk drivers, better visibility, and is apparently a much safer option.

3.    Enhance your driving skills

Having poor speed choices can be detrimental. Going too slow puts you in just as much danger as going too fast. So, work on your speed limit choice based on the current road conditions like when the roads are slippery or visibility reduced.

Improve on your overtaking, and be extremely careful around slower vehicles. Remember the rule; never attempt overtaking if there's a slight chance you won't make it safely. Be always on alert, and keen a very keen eye on the road. Watch the scenes around you, and take decisive actions before any threatening situation can occur.

4.    Be sure to map out your route

Whatever means you intend using to get to your destination be it SatNav, GPS, Google Maps or even paper maps, be sure to have everything figured out before hitting the road. Know your estimated distance, alternative routes, and stipulate amount of traffic.

5.    Know the weather forecast

You'd have to hear the weather man out before any road trip, as knowing the weather conditions at home and at your destination would help in understand the driving conditions you're bound to face.
Get a weather app, or tune on the television to a weather channel to get accurate and current information.

6.    Safeguard your valuables

Avoid making yourself a target for thieves who are rampant during the holiday season, by safeguarding your valuables away from plain sight. Keep all valuables in the trunk or in an enclosed area.

7.    Take safety measures for the family.

Ensure everyone is wearing seat belts, and keeps passengers such as kids engaged. Make use of items such as books, games, and music players, to help avoid distractions and aid the driver maintain absolute concentration.

It's important to note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advices guardians to strap children in vehicles with safety belts, booster seats or seat belts depending on their weight, height and age.

8.    Ensure to take some rest

Prior to making the journey, get as much sleep as you can, and while on the road be sure to take some "rest breaks" every two hours or 100 miles. Plan your resting points before hitting the road, as fatigue is quite dangerous while traveling.

It's best to arrive late than arrive dead.