FROM THE FIRE CHIEF’S CORNER: SAFE HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS

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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

December 18, 2018 (San Diego) --  Millions of people will be hitting the road the next couple of weeks for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. It’s important you are properly prepared to get to your destination safely reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.

Here are some travel safety tips before you hit the road:

  • Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
  • Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
  • Keep gifts and anything of value in the trunk or covered storage area.
  • If you’re traveling with children, remind them not to talk to strangers. Go with them on bathroom breaks and give them whistles to be used only if the family gets separated
  • Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs on the road.
  • In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. Many companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.
  • Have a Designated Driver: Before heading out to holiday parties, choose a designated driver from your group who will lay off the egg nog and make sure everyone gets home safely. Help keep drunk drivers off the road.
  • Keep an Emergency Kit: It's wise to store some items in your vehicle so they'll be available if you need them. Recommended winter items include a windshield brush, ice scraper, gloves, blankets, extra clothing, a flashlight, batteries, and water. And in all seasons, keep tools and jumper cables in your trunk as well.
  • Keep extra water and power/protein bars with you. Accidents or incidents can shut the freeways down for hours. Be prepared!
  • Obey Traffic Laws: From speed limits to traffic lights, stop signs to right-of-way, traffic laws keep order on the road and safeguard a system that keeps travelers safe. Breaking traffic laws to save a few minutes isn't worth your safety, and certainly not the safety of other families this holiday season.
  • Did I mention texting and driving? Don’t do it!

Despite the simplicity of these tips, hundreds of accidents occur each year because drivers failed to follow one or more of these safe-driving strategies. This winter, do your part to make sure all of us on the road get home safely for the holidays.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

*Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.