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Holiday Travel Safety Tips

Whether you’re going over the river and through the woods this holiday season, or staying home, here are some safety tips to consider.

Heading out of town?
1. Before you go, be sure your car is serviced and ready to make the trip. No one wants their car to break down in any season, but especially not in cold or snowy winter weather.
2. Go over your vehicle safety checklist. Check your battery, lights, cooling system, tires, windshield wipers and fluid levels.
3. Stock your vehicle. Carry items in your vehicle to handle regular driving-related tasks, such as cleaning off your windshield, as well as an emergency kit. Consider packing an ice scraper, sand or litter (in case you get stuck in the snow), jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, cell phone with charger, food and water.
4. Plan your route. Keep yourself safe by planning ahead! Check the weather, road conditions and traffic; allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely and familiarize yourself with directions before leave.

While on the road…
1. Stay alert. Keep your gas tank close to full, so if you get stuck in traffic or the snow, you will be able to keep warm. Also avoid driving in hazardous conditions if at all possible.
2. Drive slowly in winter conditions. Drive slowly and know your vehicle and how it handles in inclement weather.

If in an emergency…
1. Stay in your vehicle. It is safer to stay in your vehicle if you are stopped or stalled due to winter weather.
2. Be seen. Put bright markers on the antenna or windows and keep the interior dome light turned on.
3. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t run your vehicle for long periods of time with the windows up or in an enclosed space. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe from snow and run it sporadically – just long enough to stay warm.

And possibly most importantly, wear your seat belt and ensure everyone is buckled in age- and size-appropriate restraints!

Please be safe this season, no matter what your plans are.

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