Safety Tips to Keep Your Family Safe During Holiday Road Trips

Holiday road trips can make wonderful family memories. Journeys through the beautiful winter landscape to visit family and friends can be memories parents and children will cherish. But these road trips are not without risk. Driving in the winter poses unique challenges you should prepare for before you begin your holiday road trip.

Explore these tips to keep your family safe on the roads this holiday season, and if you are in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact the auto accident lawyers at Cofman Townsley. Our experienced team can help you prepare a case and win the compensation you deserve.

Prepare Your Car for Winter Weather

You can take a few steps to winterize your vehicle before you set out on a holiday road trip. These steps can help make your vehicle safer and easier to drive in inclement conditions.

Inspect Your Tires

If your tires are not winter-ready, you might not have the traction you need to stay safe on the roads. Install either four-season tires or winter tires before you start your trip.

If you already have these tires on your vehicle, check to ensure you still have at least 5/32 of an inch of tread. Check the pressure on all four tires and ensure it is within the manufacturer’s specifications which is typically found on a sticker inside the driver’s door. Place a winter-ready spare tire in your trunk in case of an emergency.  

Winterize Your Fluids

Your engine oil and fluids can thicken at low temperatures as their molecules slow down and condense. Test your oil and ensure it is rated for cold temperatures, like Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil, whose synthetic ingredients stay viscous down to -40℉.

Inspect your vehicle’s coolant system. Many vehicles have a standard 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water as the coolant, but winter conditions call for 60/40 or 70/30 mixture. Consult your vehicle’s manual and adjust the fluids for cold conditions.

Test Your Battery

A battery at 0℉ has only half the power of one at 80℉, and cold engines with thickened oil take more energy to turn on. Remove the battery cover and check the fluid levels. If it is low, fill it with distilled water. If there is a charge window at the top of the device, check that it can hold a full charge. Have your battery professionally tested if it does not hold a full charge or has no charge window.

Install Winter Wipers

Winter wipers are made from a special silicone rubber that can handle the weight of snow and ice and give you extra scraping power on your windshield. This can help clear your windshield faster in winter conditions.

Winterize the Vehicle’s Interior and Exterior

Dirty snow and de-icing sand and chemicals can track a mess into your car’s interior and damage your paint job. Purchase and install all-weather rubber floor mats. Clean and wax your car in the late fall to give your paint job a protective coating that will last the whole winter.

Pack for Inclement Weather and Emergencies

Prepare a winter emergency kit that you can keep in your car to stay safe if an emergency occurs. The kit should include essentials that can help you stay warm, hydrated, and safe in winter weather, such as: 

  • An ice scraper. These instruments remove ice from windows and doors, allowing you to see clearly when driving.
  • A folding shovel. A folding shovel can help you dig your car out of snow drifts, so you aren’t stranded in a snowstorm.
  • A basic first aid kit. A first aid kit should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, rehydration salts, and medication for unexpected injuries.
  • A portable jump kit and jumper cables. Jump kits help you restart your battery if it is dead, which can often happen in cold weather.
  • Thermal blankets. Thermal blankets help you stay warm if external heat is unavailable.
  • A flashlight. Flashlights provide light at night or in low-light conditions and can help you see to repair a tire or jump-start your car at night.
  • A tow strap. Tow straps help someone pull you out of a ditch or snow drift if your car gets stuck.
  • Emergency food and water. Non-perishable food, like granola bars or dried fruit and water, keeps you nourished and hydrated until help comes if you’re stranded.

What to Do If You Experience a Car Accident When Traveling

If you experience a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence when traveling, explore your legal options with the attorneys at Cofman Townsley. Our lawyers can help you understand your rights after a car accident and seek compensation from a negligent driver.

We can also help you:

  • Gather evidence to support your claim.
  • Complete paperwork and file claims correctly and on time.
  • Negotiate with insurance companies and ensure they pay you what you are owed.

Winter travel can result in complex cases involving inclement weather or cars skidding on ice. An attorney with Cofman Townsley can review the circumstances of your collision to determine fault and help you seek appropriate compensation.

Arrange a Free Case Review with the Auto Attorneys at Cofman Townsley

A winter automobile accident caused by another driver’s negligence can be a traumatic experience, but you have rights. The attorneys at Cofman Townsley can help you understand your case and get the settlement you deserve.

Our experienced team has been helping car accident victims in Missouri and Southern Illinois since 1973. Contact us any time, 24/7, to schedule a complimentary consultation.