Safety Tips for Holiday Travelers
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching! Then Christmas! Will you be doing "over the river and through the woods to Grandma's house" in your car? Well, folks, make sure that "sleigh" is safe, weather ready and you and your family are comfortable.
Your friends at 106 St Tire & Wheel are deeply invested in anything auto...we place a high value on educating our customers so read on to learn more about road conditions, traffic, saving money, staying safe and awake!
It goes without saying to before leaving, please, take your car to one of our locations for a free 47 point safety check that includes the major automotive systems, your tires, your brakes, your fluids, your lights, etc. DO IT BEFORE YOU LEAVE FOR EVERYONE'S SAFETY INCLUDING OTHER DRIVERS!
You can be no safer on any road then the condition of your vehicle lets you be and there is something you can do by making safety your priority before the trip.
1. Start off well rested and well fed! Caffeine is not an answer as it wears off quickly and then you will need more. Your caffeine high can make you jittery and short tempered. This is not the optimum way to start any journey that includes road risks like traffic, weather, etc.
2. Mandatory: Pull over and take breaks every couple of hours and take a walk whether you think you need one or not. Stretch your legs, use the bathroom, splash some cool water on your face, have a snack, do some deep breathing, roll down the windows in your car and replace the air inside your cabin...tired? Take a nap.
3. Got a co-pilot? How about changing drivers for a bit? This is ideal because then each of you can watch the road and each other to make sure the driver is alert. When driving alone, turn on the radio or put on a CD, and keep your window open just an inch. Please don't use your cruise control if you're driving alone at night -- concentrating on your speed can help you stay awake.
4. Park your vehicle off the road if you have to pull over. Never park on the shoulder or in the breakdown lane for any reason unless, of course, it's an emergency.
5. Laws vary from state to state about using your cell phone which btw should be fully charged before you begin your journey and you should have a car charger for your cell phone with you, its just good common sense, right? Check out this chart of cell phone laws by state (keep in mind that this information can change at any time). A hands-free device, of course, is the best and safest way to use a cell in a moving car.
6. Not to state the obvious but we will because the stakes are so high: NEVER EVER drink any alcohol before your trip or during your trip. Even one beer can make you sleepy; do you want to be sleepy behind the wheel in a 4000 lb car while hurling down a crowded highway with your family in with you?
7. Plan your route first and foremost with the weather in mind. Read about it, check it on your cell phone, radio, etc...more reasons why you need a safety check at one of 106 St Tire & Wheel locations and, remember, we are open on holidays except Christmas and give our customers a free 47 point safety inspection to make sure your systems are go and your tires are safe in rain and snow!
8. NYers, come on, we know about traffic don't we? For the best weather and driving conditions reports, etc, tune into the AM stations on your car radio. If you are a NYer show us your ability to multi-task so you arrive at Grandma's in one piece for a happy holiday!
9. Ever land up in the wrong place 'cause your Magic Genie GPS system is inaccurate? Well, welcome to the real world where nothing is perfect! Take a map or print out directions though the online directions though they are not always perfect either...when we say map we mean a current printed map. You can get a Trip Tix if you are a member of AAA or invest in a CURRENT road atlas as a viable backup. Ask for directions, guys! Your smart phone is another must-have for long road trips so add a mapping app. Plan for everything for best results and stress free driving.
10. Always, if you are renting a car, familiarize yourself with the car and all of its equipment (hazard lights, horn, brakes, etc) BEFORE you venture down the highways. Please, no remake skits from Planes, Trains and Automobiles?
11. We're NYers....so we know, right, put your valuables (duh, especially wrapped gifts) in your trunk with your luggage or depending on size glove in the glove compartment. Please park in a well lit area with your doors locked when you are not in your car.
12. Local traffic laws apply to you and you may not be in NYC so make sure you familiarize with what the law is, which vary from state to state. Example: in Nassau County you can make a right on a red light, but, not in NYC, right?
13. Signing up for AAA is something no driver will regret because of the convenience of being towed by someone who knows the locale and terrain. One breakdown will make a believer out of you but why put yourself through that and risk your safety and ruining a wonderful holiday?
14) As a responsible earthling, conserving gas as you drive is really important. Don't do sudden starts and stops if you can avoid them. Empty your car of all unnecessary weight (that does not include leaving your Great-Aunt Tilly at a rest stop!) and slow down. You will use much less fuel driving 55 miles an hour than you will doing 70 mph. Also, driving slower offers greater safety in breaking time and avoidance of hitting deer, broken down cars, etc.
15) Refuel when your gas tank is one quarter or half empty rather than when it's leaning on empty. Who knows what lies ahead in the way of traffic and weather? Who wants to run out of gas? Raise your hand! Being pressured to find gas in the dark, on an unfamiliar road in somewhere where you are unknowledgeable about roads, rules, conditions, etc. UGH.
16) Are we there yet? Are we? Traveling with kids can be...um, fun only if you think ahead and pack toys, books, music, food, and stop often for snacks and potty breaks, but also to see the sights. Bring a ball, a Frisbee, a marching band, hey, you know what makes your kids happy and hopefully tired. Look for a play ground, spend a few bucks at an arcade...dare we mention motion sickness, paper towels, medicine, etc?
17) Here's a bet we will take....it's a matter of time before someone will get the munchies maybe even the driver? You will save money if you shop in a super market (so think ahead!) rather than be taken for a ride (no pun intended) by gas stations or convenience stores -- you'll get a wider and healthier selection and better prices in a super market as well. Stock up on snacks and drinks at grocery stores as part of packing. I'll take Doritos, thanks.
18) Remember our recent blog postings on winter safety kits? Scroll down our blog postings and you will learn what you need for extra road safety. Remember to have supplies for everyone in the car. Also, keep napkins, plastic utensils, paper towels and why not bring a small cooler, too.
19) Other important things: change for tolls, flashlights and batteries, a first-aid kit, pillows and blankets as well as a set of jumper cables, a spare tire or "donut" and extra fluids for the car (such as freeze proof windshield wiper fluid) in your trunk with your luggage and those gifts, right?
20) Make sure everyone in the car wears their seatbelt. Not only will it keep everyone safer but in many places it's also the law.
....and happy and safe holidays from 106 St Tire & Wheel, Queens premier tire and wheel dealer open 24/7 including holidays (closed Christmas) on Northern Blvd in Corona and 7 days a week in Elmhurst, Jamaica and in Forest Hills/Corona, call us 24/7 at 718-446-6769 or just come on in to our two 24 hour locations 106-01 Northern Blvd or 105-08 Northern Blvd. Thank you