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Road Mode: Tips for Safe Holiday Driving

Just this week, The American Automobile Association (AAA) projected record-breaking travel this holiday season. The organization reported that more than 112 million Americans will travel this month alone! That amazing number represents a 4.4 percent increase over 2017 and the most travelers since AAA started keeping the numbers 17 years ago.

So, it stands to reason that the roads can be extremely congested during this time of year and more vehicles mean more accidents. Take these tips to heart as you travel this month and next and be safe out there!

Designate a driver. Large family feasts often mean indulging in sleep-inducing meals and drinking one too many festive cocktails. Have a plan for who will drive you and your family safely home before you head out the door for the celebration, even if it’s local.

Sleep over if you’re too tired. An incredible 60 percent of Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and 37 percent admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Plan to sleep on the pull-out couch if it’s going to be a long day away.

Buckle up. Seat belts save lives, and not receiving a ticket for not having yours on also will save you some cash. Wear your seatbelt and require everyone in your vehicle to do the same.

Keep your cool. Patience is a must on the roads during the holidays. Turn on some soft music, take a deep breath, and take your time on the road. Expect the trip to take longer than you anticipated and try to relax.

Be defensive. They say the best offense is a good defense, and the same is true for driving. Though you may do your safest, best driving this holiday season, chances are you’ll encounter other drivers who will not. Watch out for erratic behavior and be defensive on the road. Report anyone you suspect of drunk driving.

Plan for inclement weather. If you’re traveling to a colder area, be aware of the weather and road conditions before you depart on your journey. Plan your route and prepare your vehicle accordingly.

Prepare for emergencies. Keep Lane Insurance contact information handy (DeLand – 386-734-0800 or Edgewater 386427-5201) in case of an accident, as well as your emergency signals, spare tires, and automobile club card. Make sure your cell phones are charged and with you.

Prepare your vehicle. Perform some routine maintenance on your vehicle before you hit the road. Check the tire pressure, have the oil changed and top off your fluids. Of course, repair any issues that may cause your vehicle to malfunction, too.

Getting to your holiday destination can be as fun, enjoyable and safe as the visit itself. Take time to prepare, think and be proactive, so your holiday can be its most enjoyable.