Its Holiday Travel Tips time! Time to go and that annual tour of the interstate’s in the quest for family bonding! (and presents)
Millions of Americans will do some traveling this holiday season – the majority of it by car. Of course, winter weather creates a unique set of challenges on the roadways, whether you’re simply driving around in the Chicago area or headed to up to Milwaukee or Madison.
At Ability Risk Management, we’d like to help you not only enjoy your holiday season, but help ensure you’ll be around for future holidays, too! So please take these winter-travel safety tips to heart.
Prepare your car for winter
Before leaving on your trip in the midwest, give your car a thorough check-up. Do wipers need to be replaced? Are your fluid levels where they should be? Your tires need to be in good shape for driving on wet or snowy roads, and be sure your radiator and cooling systems are up to snuff. And – we know you’ve heard this before, but bear with us – your car should have an emergency kit. Pack it with jumper cables, blankets, a first-aid kit, flares, food and water, a flashlight and other safety gear. A shovel and cat litter or sand (to provide traction should you get stuck in snow or ice) are good ideas as well.
Before you leave
Know exactly where you’re going, with printed maps, and check weather conditions along your planned route. Let someone know your itinerary, so if you don’t arrive on time, officials know where to look for you. If your car has snow or ice on it, make sure it is completely cleared off before you depart. Don’t forget to clear your headlights and other lights, along with the roof – ice and snow blowing from your car could create a hazard for other drivers.
What if you do fly?
Many of us will choose to fly, in this case. Plan plan plan. Make sure you know your logistics. Which is the best airport? Midway? O’Hare? Maybe even Mitchell or Rockford. Know your options. Give yourself plenty of time, arrive at the airport EARLY. Bring reading materials, or your tablet/I-pad. Bringing a little patience and Understanding will go along way in your air travels. And remember when booking your flights, airlines typically have “sales” weekly starting around 9PM EST every Monday, going thru about Tuesday night, but sometimes depending on volume, I’ve seen great prices at 9AM Tuesday, double my 6PM.
When you’re on the road
Are roads snowy or icy? Take it slow. Take it slow. Take it slow. Did I mention slow down? Sorry for repeating ourselves, but it’s absolutely vital to, yes, take it slow. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination, and make sure you leave extra room between your vehicle and others on the road. Watch for ice patches on bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Remember, having four-wheel or all-wheel drive does not mean your car will stop
We hope you enjoy your holidays with friends and family, and we look forward to serving you in the New Year!