Before You Go:
Get All Basic Maintenance Done
- Check tire pressure and tread depth
- Replace windshield wiper blades
- Fill the windshield washer reservoir
- Test the battery
Even if you are behind on your to-do list, now is the time to take care of it. Don’t leave home without an oil change or brake check if you’ve been putting those off!
Make an Emergency Road Kit
Every emergency kit should include a first aid kit, emergency cables, an ice scraper and a snow brush. You should also carry
- Drinking Water
- Small Shovel
- Warm Clothes
- Basic Hand Tools
- Phone Chargers
- Gloves, Hats and Blankets
- Nonperishable Snack Bars
- Flashlights with Batteries
- Shop Rags or Paper Towels
- Sand, Cat Litter or Traction Mats
Map Your Route
Know how you’re going to get to your destination and have an alternative route in mind. Be prepared for busy roads. Check your smartphone app for heavy traffic ahead. If possible, leave really early in the morning or late in the evening when traffic is generally lighter.
Check the Weather
Know what conditions you might be driving through, not just the weather at home and your destination. You may be going through mountain passes between your starting and stopping points. Take a few minutes to check current weather conditions and forecasts.
Brush up on Winter Driving Techniques
Increase your regular following distance. Rather than three to four seconds, make it eight to ten seconds. Avoid skids by applying the gas slowly to accelerate. Above all, be patient and don’t let yourself get distracted.
Keep the Kids Busy and Safe
The holidays are prime time for thieves, and a vehicle full of items in plain view will attract them. Don’t make yourself a tempting target: keep your valuables in the trunk or a covered storage area.
Take a Break
Take a break every 2 hours or 100 miles. Breaking up the drive periodically will keep you more alert while you’re on the road, which will help you arrive for your holiday dinner safely in one piece.