According to the U.S Bureau of Transportation, the winter holidays are among the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. They are also the time with the least favorable weather conditions. Rain, snow, and ice are more prevalent during the winter months than at any other time of the year. This means you need to take special precautions to ensure a safe journey. Preparing for busy roads during holiday travel season and pausing to compare car insurance rates could save you a considerable inconvenience.
Perform Preventive Maintenance
While a breakdown at any time of the year is a problem, it could be deadly in winter. Lowered visibility means your car is more vulnerable to being struck if inoperable on the side of the highway. Further, if your car dies in the middle of an extremely frigid night, hypothermia is a very real risk. Before you set out on a winter road trip, make sure your lights, wipers, and tires are in excellent condition.
Your cooling system should be flushed and filled with fresh coolant. Your battery works harder in cold months to start your car, so give it some love. If you're dealing with a lot of snow, ice, and mud on the roads, switch to snow tires for the winter months. Additionally, your belts and hoses should be inspected to ensure they're in optimal condition. If your car is in iffy condition, rent one for the trip, rather than risking it with your own.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Throughout the winter driving season, your trunk should contain an emergency kit with the following items: Jumper cables, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter for traction, and flares. Alongside these should be a flashlight, a small knife, an ice scraper, and a strong rope for towing. You'll need blankets, energy bars, water, waterproof matches, a first-aid kit, and gloves if you're ever stranded and waiting for help. Another useful thing to have is a portable power solution for your phone. If your car's battery dies and you have a long wait, you're going to need a secondary charging source.
Entertainment Passes Time More Quickly
Books, games, DVDs, and car-friendly arts and crafts will keep young minds occupied. This will free yours to focus on getting the family safely to your destination. Plus, if you get stuck, playing games will distract your passengers from worry while waiting for an emergency vehicle to arrive.
Know the Law
Road trips can mean variances in vehicle codes from state to state. Yes, a traffic signal is a traffic signal anywhere you go. But is it OK to turn right on red if no traffic is approaching? Yes, it is in some places—nope, it isn't in others. Taking the time to gain a basic familiarity with the traffic laws along your route could save you a lot of money in traffic fines. Tickets could also make your car insurance more expensive the following year.
Using CoverHound to compare car insurance rates can lead you to the best coverage possible within your budget. Get your free and affordable quote today!