‘Tis the season for heavy traffic, bad weather, and icy roads. As you plan your holidays, we want you to stay safe by keeping these tips in mind:

Take COVID-19 into consideration. Bring along masks for the whole family in case you have to make a stop for food or the bathroom. States vary on their mask mandates, so it’s best to be prepared. Have hand sanitizer in the car as well so you can sanitize your hands after touching gas and door handles.

Practice safe driving for winter conditions. There are a couple important ways you should adjust your driving habits once winter hits and road conditions worsen due to ice or snow. Increase your following distance, decrease your speed, avoid distractions like your phone, accelerate and decelerate slowly, and plan to leave early so you don’t rush.

Be prepared. Regularly check the weather in the week before you plan to leave. If a big storm is coming through, you might need to adjust your plans. In case you ever get stranded, you should also have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Include some blankets, food, water, flashlights, and medical aid in the kit. As you’re on the road, have a GPS or app open to help map your route. They could also alert you if there’s a crash up ahead or if you could save time going another way.

Have your car inspected/serviced. While weather will probably be your main worry, there’s also the risk of your car breaking down if you haven’t had it serviced in a while. Plus, when you bring it in for an inspection, they can let you know of any potential issues like low tire tread, old brake pads, broken headlights, dying batteries, etc. Getting stranded on the side of the road can be especially dangerous in the winter if the road conditions are ideal, so you should try to avoid this if possible. Incidents can always happen either way, so be prepared by always having a carjack and jumper cables in your car.

Additionally, if you are involved in a collision this season, try to steer your car onto the shoulder to avoid any accidental hits from passing cars. Then contact a local auto body shop to inspect your car and perform necessary repairs before getting back on the road. If you are in need of auto body services in the Southern Twin Cities, our experts at Superior Collision Center can help.