“Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house” no longer applies to most Americans. These days, holiday travel usually takes families out of town — and maybe out of state.
To stay safe on your holiday travels, here are some reminders of what you need to do:
Protect your home
Don’t share too much about your holiday plans on social media. After all, do you really know everyone on your friend’s list on Facebook? Keep your travel plans to yourself until you get back. Don’t forget to enable your security system while you are gone and halt the mail and deliveries until you get back.
Make sure your car is ready
Before you pack the car — take it in for a quick tune-up and check by your local mechanic. You particularly want to pay attention to your car’s brakes, defroster, lights and tires when you’re traveling in winter weather. Any problems with those components could lead to a bad accident on the road.
Pack a few extras
You need to pack plenty of water and a few snacks when you’re traveling in winter. You never know when you might get stuck on the road. Take an extra power stick for your cell phone and make sure it’s charged, too.
Map out your drive
Even if you have GPS in your car and know the way, it’s smart to plan the route ahead of time. That way, you’re prepared if a snarl in traffic or bad weather closes down a highway for hours. Plus, plan your stops ahead of time. Frequent stops may slow down your trip — but they also keep you from falling asleep behind the wheel by giving you a chance to stretch and refresh.
Despite all your precautions, it’s possible that an accident will still happen. If you’re injured due to another driver’s negligence, make sure you find out about your right to compensation for your losses.