The holiday season has arrived, but before we depart for family parties, let’s wrap up our top tips for safer holiday travels.
According to a recent survey by 3M, half of all Americans plan to travel this holiday season. Even though airports are back to pre-pandemic rates, most holiday travelers are foregoing air travel and opting for road trips. Three-quarters of those surveyed said they plan to travel by car, though more than a third reported being as concerned about road safety than contracting COVID-19. These concerns are warranted, as an influx of drivers on the roads typically means an increased likelihood of accidents.
Many of these drivers will be navigating Ohio’s highways. Thousands of Ohio residents plan to travel to another Ohio city to visit relatives and make up for last year’s virtual celebrations. As a major thoroughfare, we also expect countless out-of-staters to join us on our highways for their long-distance road trips.
The increase in roadway travelers combined with winter weather conditions that come with Ohio winters have made it clear: this week should now be known as Holiday Safety Week. And, we should all plan accordingly.
Care for your car – and yourself – before you take off.
Now is the perfect time to schedule the routine car inspection you’ve been putting off. At that appointment, you’ll take care of any underlying issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed and can winterize your tires in the event of inclement weather.
Not only should your car be in good working condition, you should be, too. Prioritize a good night’s sleep the night before to avoid drowsy driving.
Make sure you are aware of the weather forecast for your travel days and the road closures for your route before you get in the driver’s seat. Even if you know your route by heart or plan to use GPS, it’s important to look ahead so you can plan for any alternate routes. The best way to stay safely on-track is to check in with Ohgo, the best resource for real-time Ohio traffic updates.
This might seem a bit over the top, but we highly recommend you have an emergency kit in your car. This kit should include first aid necessities, warm blankets and any tools that will help you if and when car troubles arise. This week, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Use caution on the roads.
Wait to depart until snow plows and sanding trucks have cleared the way, then maintain plenty of distance with other drivers and keep your speed down. If you run into icy roads, take your time. If weather conditions worsen and you have no visibility, pull over. Trust us, the holiday party can wait.
When you do come across construction, follow any and all posted roadway signage. Even if the jobsite isn’t active, you’ll want to be prepared to navigate around lane closures. Follow all safety markings, including traffic signs, pavement markings and traffic delineators
Our construction crews work hard to create safe roads for travelers year-round. Let’s all prioritize safety each and every day. Together, we can create a safe holiday season for all.