Holiday & Winter Travel Tips

Holiday & Winter Travel Tips

winter driving

The Livingston Health Department would like to take this opportunity to give our residents some safety travel tips for this Holiday Season.    Many college students’ return home; families and friends travel both long and short distances to be together and celebrate.  It is estimated that over 26 million people will be traveling on airplanes alone.   Besides packing your suitcases with weather appropriate clothes for your destination and daily medications; remember to also pack your patience while traveling.

With cold winter weather already here and recent reports in northern states already having experienced accumulations of snow on the ground, it is best to prepare.  If you plan to travel by car make sure you and your vehicle are ready for the elements.  To begin preparing you may want to make a check list of items for your car and/or have a trusted mechanic preform a routine maintenance check.

Make sure your tires, car battery, and windshield wipers are all in good working order. Ensure you have enough antifreeze, window washer fluid and gasoline in your vehicle and your car is up to date with its routine maintenance tasks like oil changes and that your spare tire has not gone flat over time.

Other important items to have and check off your holiday and winter travel safety check list include; at least one flash light (with extra new batteries), blankets, protein bars, bottles of water, flares, and an emergency kit in trunk in case you get stuck.  Always have the emergency kit stocked with up-to-date items and gear in case you need to survive an unexpected event.  (If you are diabetic, please keep extra chewable sugar tabs in your car in case of a low blood sugar episode during a long car ride.)  Also, keeping sand (or kitty litter for traction) can be useful if you experience icy conditions. Additionally, a shovel and ice scraper is a great idea.

Prior to leaving you house, always make sure your cell phone is fully charged and if possible pack your chargers for your cell phone.  Try to check the weather service to see what type of weather the area you are traveling will be experiencing.  Don’t forget to pack extra medication with you in case you get stuck somewhere longer than you expected.  If you get stuck or lost remain in your car.  Your car is your best shelter and more often than not the easiest way to find you.  You can keep a red piece of cloth to tie on the outside; this can help responders find you in bad conditions.  If you are stuck in your car for a long period of time, start it every hour for 10 minutes to heat up the car and recharge your cell phone at this time. You don’t want to drain your car battery or remain idle for too long, especially if the windows are up.

Before traveling, make sure that you get a good night sleep and are well rested. Do things ahead of time so that you’re not rushing around the morning of your trip.  If traveling with younger children, check that their car seats are in properly.  Avoid distractions like cellphones, eating or smoking while driving the car.  Keep in mind, most distractions are caused by passengers so let them know the game plan ahead of time and bring games and extra snacks for the ride.  Plan ahead where and when you will stop for gas or a stretch.  Make sure if or when you do stop, it is a safe location.  Try to avoid stopping on the shoulder of a highway if possible.  If you plan to stay over at a hotel ensure that you have a reservation and confirm it prior to leaving your home.   Tell a trusted friend your travel plans and check in with them periodically especially if it’s a long trip.  Always obey the speed limits and rules of the road for your safety.  Lastly, if you have AAA make sure you keep your card on you or in the glove compartment. Finally, have a happy and healthy Holiday Season and a safe time driving this winter.

For a great info-graphic visit Be Ready Winter

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 For further educational information contact  the nursing office at (973)-535-7961 X 228.