Be safe this holiday season
Happy holidays everyone. Hope you safely celebrate with food, family and friends.
If you plan to hit the road to get to day holiday celebration, keep in mind that millions of other people will be out there on the nation's highways, too.
Please, if you plan to be behind the wheel this holiday weekend:
Think public safety
- Make sure your chariot is road ready. For example, check the tread wear and air pressure in your tires, look at your belts, hoses and fluids, and clean your windows inside and out, as well as your license plate and headlights, signal lights and break lights.
- Plan your route, while also having a plan B in case a traffic snafu derails plan A.
- Check the weather report along your travel route and stock your car accordingly.
- Turn on your headlights in cloudy, rainy, snowy and foggy weather. Use the low beam;
- Allow extra travel time and slow down;
- Wear your seat belt for best way to survive a crash;
- If it’s raining, drive toward the middle lanes, as water tends to pool in outside lanes;
- Carry the appropriate size chains if you plan to head toward snow country;
- Conserve fuel use by obeying the speed limit, making sure your vehicle is in good working order, avoiding hard starts and stops, and traveling light;
- Do not drive while tired, distracted -- no cellphones -- or under the influence of mind altering substances, including alcohol, prescription and over the counter medications, and other drugs — legal or otherwise.
- If you do plan to drink or use some other substance to help you celebrate, perhaps call on AAA’s free Tipsy Tow program. Members and non-members alike can call (800) 222-4357 – or AAA-HELP – to summon a tow truck to will ferry the driver, his or her passengers and their vehicle home for free for up to 10 miles. Other options include having a designated driver who will refrain from having a lick of alcohol, calling a taxi, spending the night at the party venue or getting a hotel room. Walking and riding a bike home while not of sound mind can also be dangerous, so take heed.
- Stay abreast of the latest traffic conditions at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or (800) 427-7623. However, if you need to check road conditions, have a passenger call for you or pull over to a safe place before calling.
If you are on the road this holiday weekend and see someone who appears to be driving while under the influence or is otherwise a danger to the public, such as weaving, driving erratically including speeding up and slowing down, cutting people off, etc., don’t hesitate to dial 911 and provide the operator with location, and description of the vehicle, including license plate number, make and model. And if possible, describe the driver and any passengers.
Shopping center parking lots
Getting in some last minute shopping? Those parking lots and meter spots are going to be insane with drivers crawling the aisles looking for a place to park.
If you plan to hunt for the gift you forgot or do all your shopping on the fly, think of these words from frequent Street Smarts contributor Arn Ghigliazza:
"Please inform the brain dead drivers that parking lots are not the freeway. In other words, slow down. Most lots are very scary."
Also, remember to park in well lit areas, don't leave anything of value visible inside your vehicle to avoid enticing a would-be thief, carry your keys in your hand to avoid fumbling for them with hands full of holiday purchases and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
And most of all, have a very happy and safe holiday season.
This entry was posted in distracted drivers
, Driver safety
, Driving impaired
, drowsy driving
, impaired drivers
, inattentive drivers
, Public safety
, road conditions
, road trip
, seat belts
, Speed limit
, Tipsy Tow
, traffic laws
and tagged cellphones
, Driver safety
, driving distracted
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