It’s never too soon to start getting prepared for the winter. You have to think about your car, the roads, and how you’ll maneuver wintery weather during the holidays. There are a lot of risks out there on New York roads, and even more so during the winter season. Gas prices continue to drop, which is great—unless you’ve done a lot of holiday traveling this season. In fact, recently published research on holiday road warriors has estimated over 100 million people drive to and from somewhere over the holidays.
“Strong economic growth fueled by robust consumer spending continues to drive strong demand for seasonal travel,” Bryan Shilling of AAA told the Washington Post. “With a record-breaking one-third of the country choosing to travel this holiday, road ways and airports are sure to be busy.”
While Christmas is of course a busy time for traveling, don’t be fooled: the traffic and number of people on the roads in New York will continue to be at new highs until well after New Year’s Day. This is because many people are planning extended time off. The holidays, coupled with the temperature and conditions, is why it’s especially important to travel safe this winter. Driving safe needs to be a priority, so we compiled a list of six essential tips to stay safe while on the road in New York.
1. Map Out Your Journey Well
Due to the increase in people on the road throughout the holidays, be sure to plan your trip around New York as if you are navigating the high seas. Have a primary route, as well as a secondary route in case traffic gets bottlenecked somewhere.
It is also a good idea to avoid traveling through the city during rush hour times. You can plan a route around New York city limits to ensure you keep driving and not waste time gridlocked on the highway. Other tips include, having GPS, an actual map (just in case), weather reports, and more.
2. Leave A Bit Earlier Than Usual
“Whether you’re traveling across burroughs or simply going to a different neighborhood in your area, be sure to leave early enough to ensure you make it back for your next day of work on time,” says New York highway defect accident lawyers. “When you leave earlier, you lessen the chances of rushing, which can help you avoid reckless driving tickets and serious accidents.” You never want to get caught speeding simply because you had poor time management with the weather considering.
3. Plan Ahead For Emergencies
Emergencies on the road can happen anytime, especially during the winter weather months. Mix in a larger number of people traveling in and around New York and you have a recipe for far more emergencies.
This makes planning for roadway emergencies absolutely critical. First, have supplies in your vehicle like blankets, first aid kit, a gallon of water, motor oil, and other items that can come in handy if stranded. Next, ensure you have emergency tow numbers, or AAA on call if you are a member.
4. Do Preventive Maintenance Checks Prior To Hitting The Road
Before merging into the holiday traffic this season, do a bit of preventive maintenance to ensure your car doesn’t break down mid-trip. This can also mitigate emergency situations that can arise (see the third tip above).
Preventive maintenance checks include checking the oil, radiator fluid levels, tire pressure, windshield wiper fluid, and more. If traveling into that slushy New York snow, be sure to have your snow chains ready as well.
6. Do Not Drive After Drinking
No matter what season it is, you always want to be careful of drinking and driving. However, many studies have shown that people actually drink more in the winter. Be sure you are not under the influence when getting behind the wheel. Understanding your blood alcohol level better can be very useful here.
Having one drink an hour is a myth, because there are other factors like the amount of alcohol versus your body weight that play a role in blood alcohol levels. There are also too many rideshare options in New York these days to risk your life and the lives of others by drinking and driving. Not to mention a hefty penalty for a DUI, which could pretty much halt any plans for vacationing immediately.
In Conclusion . . .
The above essential New York driving tips to stay safe this holiday season are only the tip of the iceberg. There are certainly a lot to consider when preparing to hit the road, but the above are a few of the most important. Remember, plan your trip, leave early, plan for the unexpected, and skip the liquor if you’re driving. This will allow you to have a safe and enjoyable road trip, regardless of where you are heading in New York this winter season.