BBB Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Travel Headache

  
     
December 21, 2011

BBB Tips for Avoiding the Holiday Travel Headache

The holidays are a time of cheer, but they can also be a time for battling traffic and bad weather on the road. Staying safe should be a top priority for all travelers so Better Business Bureau recommends taking a few precautions when hitting the road this holiday.

“Before setting out, give your car the attention that it needs,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York. “Make sure you are well-equipped and know where to turn should the unexpected happen.”

BBB recommends taking the following steps for safe driving this holiday season:

Create a car safety kit. Holiday driving often includes the threat of dangerous winter weather. Snow and ice lead to accidents, car troubles, long delays and road closures. You can prepare for bad weather by creating your own safety kit. Basics for the kit include blankets, flashlight with extra batteries, radio, first aid kit, jumper cables, non-perishable foods like granola bars and nuts, bottled water, an ice scraper and warm gloves.

Take the car in for a checkup. Breaking down on the side of the road can definitely put a damper on the holiday spirit. If your car is due for a check up, take it in before making that long haul. At the very least, check the car’s fluid levels, wipers and tire pressure. Check the condition of your tires and, if you plan on driving through serious winter weather, consider getting snow tires.

Take BBB with you. When you’re away from home or in the midst of an emergency, it’s hard to know which businesses—such as tow trucks and locksmiths—you can trust. The good news is you can now rely on BBB’s mobilized website or the BBB iPhone App. for finding businesses you can trust when you’re away from your computer.

Plan your Trip. Make sure you know how to get where you are going, with or without a GPS. Map out the trip before you go.

Start early and slow down. The best way to fight holiday traffic is to give yourself some extra time to make the trip, and don’t speed. Speeding leads to accidents, getting arrested for speeding, adds travel time and puts a dent in your holiday spending.

Drop the distractions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. When you’re behind the wheel, don’t text and drive, don’t use the phone, and get someone else to fumble with the GPS.

Get some rest. Loss of attention is one of the major causes of accidents. Don’t drive tired. If you are drowsy or feel your attention wandering, pull off in a safe place and get some rest.

For more advice on staying safe over the holidays, visit us online at www.bbb.org/us/consumer-tips-holiday/