Now that we’ve hit December the crunch is on to get all your holiday shopping completed; this means driving all over town trying to find the right gift! It also means that we’ll be travelling to and from family members and friends’ houses to attend parties. The holiday season can make for a multitude of hazards on the road so we’ve compiled some tips to help keep you safe all through the season:
The Dreaded Parking Lot
• Drive slowly and cautiously through parking lots. You never know when a child will dart out from behind a park car, a driver will swing their door open, or a rogue shopping cart will come barreling down the road. To help avoid the congestion of parking lots during the holiday shopping season, try to shop during off-peak hours, like when the store first opens or right before it closes.
• Keep your purchases hidden. Thieves will flock to busy parking lots searching for items that they can easily grab. Try to keep your purchases out of sight or keep them out of your vehicle all together. Also lock all your doors and turn on your car alarm system.
• Take your time. Don’t go to the mall expecting to quickly get in and out. It could take you 15 minutes just to find a parking spot so take a deep breath, plan for a wait, and just relax. The more calm you are in the parking lot, the safer everyone will be.
The Holiday Party
• Give yourself lots of time to get to your destination. December weekends mean more traffic so plan your route based on traffic congestion. The weather in December can also be unpredictable so give yourself extra time in case the roads are bad. It’s a good idea to check the traffic and weather reports before you leave the house so you can plan accordingly.
• Let your host know when to expect you; this will help them prepare for your arrival and could help you if you end up having car trouble and a dead cell phone. It’s also a good idea to let them know what route you’re taking in case you have car trouble and then someone will be able to easily find you.
• Wear your seatbelt. Never drive your car without putting your seatbelt on first, even if you are just moving the car to let your guest park in the driveway. Low speed collisions can be incredibly hazards if you aren’t wearing a seatbelt.
• Carry an emergency kit. Even if you are travelling within the city, it’s a good idea to carry an emergency kit. Many auto body and repair shops will be closed for the holidays so carrying supplies to change a flat tire could be your only way to get where you need to go. You should also carry a shovel, first aid kit, antifreeze, blankets, flashlight, booster cables, and ice melt.
• Plan for a safe way home. We all want to enjoy the holidays and that often means having alcoholic beverages. Always plan to have a designated driver for every holiday event you attend. You’ll probably be attending more than one so have your family take turns being the designated driver. Driving sober means that your family and anyone else’s families on the road will get home safely.
At Integra Tire we want to ensure everyone in our communities has a safe and happy holiday season!