There’s nothing like spending the holidays with family. Every year, millions of Americans get in their cars and travel to Grandmother’s house—or Aunt Sharon’s or Uncle Bill’s—in order to share a meal or gather around the tree with family and friends. Unfortunately, about 300 travelers won’t make it to their destination. Christmas ranks sixth for holiday driving accidents.

Will you be traveling this holiday season? Advance preparation can help you and your family reach your destination safely. Here are some safe holiday travel tips from the Madison car crash lawyers at Hupy and Abraham.

  • A week before you go, do some basic car maintenance. Get the oil changed and check your windshield wiper fluid. Test your battery and brakes. Check tire pressure and tread depth. Replace worn wiper blades. If you’ve been procrastinating a tune-up, get that done.
  • Make or buy an emergency road kit. Include an ice scraper, snow brush, flashlights, a first aid kit, flares, jumper cables, water, snacks, and warm clothing.
  • Make travel bags for your children. Provide them with snacks, books, games, DVDs, or whatever is necessary to keep them happy and comfortable during the trip. Plan to stop every few hours. Happy kids are less likely to distract the driver.
  • Add emergency numbers and travel-related numbers to your phone.
  • Tell a family member or friend where you are going and plan regular check-ins. If you don’t arrive at your destination, someone will know where to look for you.
  • Plan your route. Get familiar with the directions to your destination. Do this even if you use a GPS so you will have a general idea of what to expect.
  • Bring a paper map. You can’t always depend on a GPS signal and you never know when you might need a backup.
  • Check the weather along your route, and prepare for the kind of conditions you may be driving through.
  • Plan regular breaks. Get out of the car and walk around or stretch. Taking a break every two hours or 100 miles will help keep the driver alert while behind the wheel.
  • Get a good night’s sleep before leaving. Many holiday car crashes are caused by drowsy drivers.
  • If you get tired, pull over and stop. It is better to be late than to fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Allow plenty of time for delays and breaks. People are less likely to drive safely when they feel crunched for time.

If you are in a holiday car accident, our Madison accident injury lawyers can help—even if you are traveling out of state. Contact Hupy and Abraham at 888-277-4879.

Happy Holidays from our Madison car accident attorneys!