In Johnson City, TN, and the Tri-Cities area holiday weather can include severe storms with thunder, lightning, high winds, hail, tornadoes, snow and icy roads. Wow! Driving in those conditions can be a challenge for the best of us. In addition to taking care of your family and vehicle, your safety depends on your ability to watch out for other drivers, too. Here are some ideas about preparing yourself and your vehicle for the holiday travel season.
Check The Essentials
Make sure the basic safety features of your vehicle are in top form. Make sure all your fluids are topped off. Change your oil if it’s been over 5000 miles since the last oil change. Check your tires to make certain they’re in good shape and fill with the correct amount of air. Look at your air filters and see if they’re clean enough. Replace old windshield wiper blades. Make sure your lights and brakes are working properly. There’s a lot to consider, but a quick walk around your vehicle will give you a good idea if your vehicle is ready for that road trip.
Prepare Your Emergency Kit
Do you have a first aid kit handy? How about safety essentials for cold weather, like gloves, tire chains, a blanket, extra food, extra water, and all the tools you’d need for a flat tire? Plus, do you have a flashlight and batteries handy? Load up your emergency kit like your life depended on it, because someday it could.
Put Away The Distractions
Your number one job while driving is to pay attention to the road and all the objects around your vehicle. Put away the cell phone to avoid the temptation to text. Lower the volume on the radio. If one of your passengers is watching a video, ignore their screen and keep your eyes on the road. When you put away any distractions, you’ll increase your chances of making it to your destination without any issues.
Don’t Drive Sleepy or Impaired
A little bit of eggnog tastes great during the holiday season, but please, don’t include any alcohol in your drink if you’re planning to drive. Same goes for beer, wine, and other spirits. If you’re sleepy, take a nap in a safe place before continuing your journey. Don’t allow yourself to become impaired in any way, like taking medications that could affect your driving. And though it’s typical to load up your belly with extra-good food during the holidays, don’t put yourself into a “food coma” either. Driving while tired or impaired can land you in a whole lot of trouble in an instant, and an accident is not how you want to end your holiday weekend.
Take Frequent Breaks & Walk Around
Feeling uncomfortable while sitting in that driver’s seat for too long? Pull over for frequent potty breaks, take a little walk when possible, and stretch your legs. There may be some cool things to see along your journey, so why not get out and experience them first-hand? Besides, if you’re traveling with kids and pets, they’ll be happy to get out of the car for a bit.
You may or may not like letting people know where you are at all times, but it may be wise to do so when going on a holiday road trip. Communicate with your friends, family, and neighbors to let them know where you’re going, when you plan to arrive, when you plan to return, and if the cat is still inside the house. Staying connected with the people who love you is not only courteous, but it could save your life if you come up missing...especially if you’re caught in a blizzard, or if you drive off a cliff or bridge.
If we sound a bit like a doting mother hen, we hope you’ll forgive us for caring deeply about our clients. The bottom line is this: Please, don’t become a tragedy during the holiday season. We want to see your smiling faces before, during, and after the holiday season.
If you would like a comprehensive auto safety inspection from Ponder Auto Repair, we are here to serve you and do our best to make certain your vehicle is performing optimally. Call 423-928-3849 today to schedule an appointment, or stop by and see us at 915 West Market St. in Johnson City, TN 37604. You’ll be glad you did!