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5 Tips for a Safe Holiday Road Trip

According to AAA, more than 93.6 million Americans are expected to take a holiday road trip.  Whether you’re planning to drive across town to visit with family or take an extended road trip to your favorite vacation spot, you’ll want to arrive safely.

Here are some tips to help make your drive a smooth one:

Check the weather before you go

If the forecast looks iffy, wait out the storm if possible. If you must travel, make sure to buckle up, slow down and don’t drive impaired.

Prepare your car

It’s important to have a mechanic check the condition of your car before hitting the road. If your vehicle is not properly maintained, you could have issues such as hydroplaning, dead batteries and slipping brakes along the way.

Follow state laws

You know the rules! While it’s not always convenient to abide by the law, especially while driving in slow holiday traffic, it could be a matter of life and death. If you need a refresher:

  1. Don’t drink and drive
  2. Make sure every person in the car is properly buckled up
  3. Put the cell phone away – more than 18% of crashes are caused by distracted drivers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  4. Use caution in work zones

Know what to do to avoid a crash

You’ve done all you can to prepare your car: you’ve checked the weather and you’re paying attention to the road. But unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of other drivers, so it is important to stay alert, keep a good distance between you and the driver in front of you, keep your speed down and have an escape route.

Keep valuables hidden

It’s a sad fact that theft rates spike this time of year. It’s important to keep valuables and gifts hidden in the trunk or covered storage area, especially when stopping for gas or a bathroom break. Don’t make yourself a target for a Grinch!

Black Friday Shopping Safety Tips

When the busiest shopping weekend of the year arrives, take some extra precautions to protect yourself, your purchases, and your personal information.

In The Store

From fistfights to identity theft, shopping at Black Friday sales brings a few safety risks. Consider these holiday shopping safety tips:

  1. Keep your purse close to your body or your wallet in an inside coat pocket or front pants pocket.
  2. Don’t argue or fight over an item.
  3. Don’t take your money out until asked to do so.
  4. Use only one credit card. Should something happen, you can reduce the risk of having multiple cards compromised.
  5. Save your receipts and monitor your credit card activity.
  6. Ask for help moving and loading large items if needed.
  7. If shopping with children, select a central location to meet just in case of separation.

In the Car

With so many people out and about, you may encounter aggressive drivers on the road. Don’t add to the problem. Remember to drive defensively and don’t allow road rage to rise. Parking lots can be dangerous too, so be on guard:

  1. Be patient when looking for a parking space. Don’t speed up to catch that empty (or soon-to-be empty) spot and be cautious of other drivers who do.
  2. Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
  3. Look around and under your vehicle before approaching it.
  4. Store shopping bags, out of plain sight, in your trunk if possible.
  5. Look for other cars or people and back out slowly.

On the Internet

Opting to join Black Friday or Cyber Monday from your couch? You still need to be on the lookout. Stick to retailers you know and never commit to a deal that seems too good to be true.