At Elite Driving School, we strive to help Maryland drivers of all ages learn simple tips to stay safe during the Holiday season and all year long. We understand that this time of year is both exciting and stressful for many people; regardless of whether you are planning a road trip to visit distant relatives or will be traveling exclusively within the Baltimore area. Following our Christmas Holiday Driving Tips could save your life or the life of another.
Give Yourself a Little Extra Time While Traveling
When you’re headed out to complete some Christmas shopping or are preparing for a long holiday trip, giving yourself a little extra time can provide a big payback when it comes to keeping everyone in your vehicle safe and peaceful. No one likes the feeling of rushing around, and the distractions this emotional state can create increase your chances of being involved in an auto accident.
On the contrary, when drivers feel relaxed, they are much less likely to take chances with aggressive driving moves, such as cutting another vehicle off. And since a relaxed driver is likely to have relaxed passengers, the whole trip, whether short or long, is likely to be a more enjoyable experience for all involved.
Use Extra Care When Watching Other Vehicles
While safe driving at any time of the year involves defensive driving skills including careful observation of what the drivers around you are doing, its important to use a little extra care during the holiday season. Since alcohol use tends to increase during this time of frequent social gatherings, it follows that the number of impaired drivers also increases, unfortunately. Give yourself extra room when turning or merging, and if you suspect drunk driving, report it to the police (after you have stopped your vehicle of course).
Keep Your Vehicle Running in Top Shape
Winter driving is harder on your vehicle in general, but keeping it running in top shape during the holiday season helps keep you and everyone else on the road safer. Be sure to have the following basic maintenance checks completed on a regular basis as well as immediately before leaving on a long trip:
- Check and adjust the pressure on your tires if necessary. Be sure you have enough tire tread to safely grip the road; replacing old tires is a lot less expensive than accident damage. Don’t forget to check and maintain your spare as well.
- Top off all vehicle fluids. Windshield cleaner can literally be a lifesaver during the winter months with the extra salt and grime on the roadways.
- Make sure your brake pads have plenty of life remaining.
- Stay up to date with oil changes to prevent engine problems.
Tie That Christmas Tree Securely to Your Roof
For those of you who’ll be brightening your home with a fresh Christmas tree, bring along extra rope to ensure that your tree is very securely attached to your vehicle’s roof. Highway speeds have a way of working knots and ropes loose, placing other driver’s at risk if extra care is not used to get those ropes good and tight. And if you have any doubt about whether or not you can safely transport a tree with your vehicle, don’t. Its far better to locate a friend with a truck or other larger vehicle than to take a chance that can cost one or more precious lives.
Take a Defensive Driving Course
At Elite Driving School, we believe all driver’s are responsible for helping keep Maryland’s roadways safe. Taking a defensive driving course will not only help you become a safer driver, but may make you eligible for an insurance discount. Check with your provider and give us a call today.