Easter may be a good time to take a road trip to see some friends and family you may not have seen for a long time, but you will not be the only people on the road. Whether you are staying in the Philadelphia metro area, driving a few hours away, or driving across the country, you will see heavier traffic simply because it is a holiday that gives many people a day off from work.
To help you stay as safe as possible on the road, we have put together our top tips. No matter what, staying safe and healthy is your biggest priority.
Get a Full Vehicle Inspection
You should have your vehicle inspected on a regular basis. Even if you have had it done recently, you should take your car to a mechanic for a full inspection. While you may be able to check your fluid levels, your mechanic can uncover potentially hazardous issues that you would not otherwise find.
Your mechanic will:
- Check, replace, and top off your oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid.
- Check your tire pressure and treads, rotate, and align your tires as necessary.
- Ensure all of your lights and electronics are in working order.
- Test your vehicle for unseen issues.
- Check your battery health.
This may take a few hours to complete but when the mechanic is done you will be confident that any issues were fixed and that your car is ready to take you to and from your Easter celebration safely. You should still know how to check your tire pressure, your oil level, and replace any fluids should you encounter any issues on the road.
Pack Safety Items and Remove Unnecessary Items
Whether you are going across town or several hours away, you should always carry some safety items with you. We highly recommend that you carry extra oil, coolant, and windshield washer fluid with you in your truck. You never know when you might need extra fluids and, in an emergency, you may not be able to find a store or repair shop open on the Easter holiday.
You should also pack:
- External cell phone chargers.
- Tire pressure gauge.
- Tool kit.
We do not recommend carrying candles or matches. A candle can be a source of heat, but it quickly becomes a fire hazard. If you find yourself stuck somewhere in your vehicle, use your blankets to stay warm.
You should also unpack unnecessary items from your car. Maybe you have gym clothes and shoes in your trunk, or you carry golf clubs with you everywhere you go. Take these out unless you need them for Easter. These extra items will weigh down your car, decreasing your gas mileage and increasing the amount of money you need to spend filling up.
Prepare Your Body
For longer road trips at Easter, prepare your body several days in advance. Get a sufficient amount of sleep. Your body must have enough rest before you take off on the road. Even for short trips, you need to make sure you get the rest you need.
Driving without getting enough sleep the night before can be the same as driving drunk. Your body reacts much slower and you do not process information as well or as fast. This can have tragic consequences when traveling in heavy traffic.
While on the road, your health is still important. That is why you need to drink water regularly and take frequent stops, about every two hours. Water will help to keep you alert and awake. Making regular stops will give you a chance to get out of the car, relax your body, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air. You do not have to stop long. You can rest for just a few minutes, and that will be enough to recharge your body. While you might think this will delay your arrival time, it will only do so by a few minutes and it will make you much more pleasant and in a better mood when you arrive.
Know Your Route
Even if you have made your planned drive many times, traveling at Easter is different than on a random weekend. The further you get away from home, the more likely you are to encounter areas where you are unfamiliar with the roads and any alternates.
You need to prepare an alternate route in case you get stuck in a traffic jam, behind a car accident, bad weather, or any other type of road delay. Instead of winging it and randomly speeding up to try and get around a delay, you will have a plan that you can simply execute on if you encounter a situation where you need to adjust.
You also need to be flexible. Even though the weather is getting nicer, there is still a possibility that you encounter treacherous weather conditions and will need to make a change in your plans. It is better to take your alternate route and avoid the congestion or to simply find a place to stay for the night, getting up early and well-rested the next day to continue your journey. While not the most enjoyable option, it is absolutely the safest one.
Obey the Rules of the Road
Many people speed from time to time, especially when they are trying to beat the rush out of the city before a holiday, but take it easy. Your goal is to arrive to your destination safely, not setting record time.
When you are cruising along toward your destination, keep your speed in check. It is a holiday weekend, so the police and state troopers are likely out in force, trying to keep people close to the speed limit to reduce accidents. Not only do you want to avoid getting a ticket, but you also want to stay safe.
If you encounter an aggressive driver, let them pass. Stay in the right lane and let them by you. It is not your job to police them, and engaging with them, trying to slow them down, or using hand gestures will only make them angrier and more likely to cause an accident.
Other drivers will probably be eager to get to their destination. Let them be the ones to get a ticket. Be the tortoise, not the hare.
Do Not Drink and Drive
Easter celebrations often involve a bottle of wine, mixed drinks, and other alcoholic beverages. If you are going to drink at all, do not drive and especially do not drive all the way back home.
Even if you live just an hour or two away from your destination, if you have to be home after celebrating, do not drink anything. If you are going to drink, plan to stay with your family or get a hotel room within walking distance.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Can Help You if You Have Been Injured During a Holiday Road Trip
Easter is a time to celebrate with family and friends. It is also a time where many people are on the road. Even if you do everything right, you may still find yourself in an accident. To find out more about your legal options after an accident, speak with one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-8488 to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia, Abington, Media, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.