Traveling for the Holidays? Be Prepared

Posted on 12/17/2019 12:48:11 PM

It’s the most wonderful (and chaotic) time of the year! Holiday safety is an issue as families gather, parties are scheduled, and travel spikes. Take some basic precautions to ensure your family remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.

A record 115.6 million travelers are expected to venture at least 50 miles from home this holiday season between Saturday, December 21, and Wednesday, January 1, according to the American Automobile Association in its annual outlook. The highest volume of travel is projected to be on the roads, with 104.8 million motorists anticipated. That's more Americans expected to drive than ever before for year-end travel in the nearly 20 years that AAA has kept tabs on holiday traffic.

Driving has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. In 2017, 329 people died on New Year's Day and 299 on Christmas Day, according to Injury Facts. Alcohol impairment was involved in about a third of the fatalities.

Holiday Travel Tips

Stay safe on the roads over the holidays and every day:

  • Prepare your car for winter, and keep an emergency preparedness kit with you. Your kit should include: blankets, bottled water, cell phone charger, flash lights, matches, and snacks.

  • Get a good night’s sleep before departing, and avoid drowsy driving.

  • Leave early, planning for heavy traffic.

  • Check the weather before you leave.

  • Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance traveled,

  • Put that cell phone away; many distractions occur while driving, but cell phones are the main culprit.

  • Designate a sober driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription, and illegal drugs can cause impairment.

Happy holidays and safe travels from the IUP Emergency Management Office