As we enter into one of the most traffic-heavy times of the year, it’s important for drivers heading out for the holidays to practice safe driving and be prepared in case of emergencies. We want to help make sure you’re ready for the season with these important tips:
Have blankets, a shovel, water, flashlight, and ice scraper in your trunk in case of emergencies. Pack a portable charger so you always have the option of calling for help. Because of Minnesota’s Hands-Free law and the similar no texting laws in neighboring states, you should also be prepared with a Bluetooth headset and a phone mount.
Follow the car in front of you at a safe distance by keeping yourself at least three seconds behind it. As you’re driving, use a stationary object such as a roadside sign as a marker. Count at least three seconds between when the car in front of you passes it and when you pass it. When weather has affected the roads, increase that distance to five or eight seconds.
Get your car inspected beforehand.
Small maintenance items such as replacing wiper blades, fixing broken headlights, and refilling fluids like the windshield wiper fluid will make sure you’re ready for the long drive. You should also get an oil change if you’re due for one to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
Evaluate your tires.
Check your tire pressure and tread before heading out. Maintaining ideal tire pressure will give you better gas mileage, and the tires will wear down evenly instead of damaging one side. Getting your tires rotated also helps them last longer. Especially since it’s winter, you should check your tire tread with the penny test to make sure you have optimal traction on slippery roads.
Check the road conditions. It’s easy to download an app for weather and traffic on your phone so you know the ideal time to leave. If you can’t avoid bad traffic or weather, then evaluate the situation to be sure it’s safe to get on the roads.
Store necessary info. Be sure to have proof of insurance and your driver’s license on you in the event of a collision or being pulled over by police.
If you or a friend/family member are involved in a collision in the Southern Twin Cities metro, Superior Collision Center can expertly take care of your repairs and help you figure out insurance. Drive safe and have a happy holiday!