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5 Holiday Road Trip Tips

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If you're planning a long drive to visit family and friends for the holidays you need to make sure you're prepared. You need to make sure your car is ready for the drive and that you have the essentials in case of bad weather. Here are five tips to keep in mind before you go on your holiday travels:

1. Car tires

Your tires are absolutely essential for a safe trip, especially during winter weather. Take your car in to a mechanic to have your tires rotated and your tire tread inspected. If your tire tread is low, consider having your tires replaced. Low tire tread increases stopping distance and can cause you to skid on snow and ice. You should also ensure that your tires have the proper pressure.

2. Towing service

Before your holiday trip you should sign up a roadside assistance plan that includes tow truck service. These plans are very affordable and some provide the first few tows free. You never know when your car will get stuck in the snow or if your car's battery dies. When the temperature drops below freezing, being stuck in a car can be dangerous. Also, your auto insurance company may already offer roadside assistance so call your local agent.

3. Emergency supplies

Before departing, make sure you have essentials in your car in case of emergency. Here is a list:

  • Flashlight
  • Fleece blanket
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Snow shovel
  • Kitty litter to give you traction in case you get stuck
  • Water

4. Winter driving

There are certain tips you should always keep in mind when driving through areas with snow or ice. Here are general tips for winter driving:

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full. This prevents the fuel line from freezing and will also let you run your heater if you get stuck.
  • Give yourself extra stopping distance, even when the road looks fine. A patch of black ice is almost invisible.
  • If it's snowing, drive at or below the speed limit.
  • If you start to skid or slide, steer into it, not against it. Take your foot off the gas but do not touch your brakes.

5. Be alert

The combination of winter weather and many drivers on the road increase the likelihood you will be stuck in traffic. You may be tempted to drive for a longer period than you planned or drive at night when you're tired to make up for lost time. If you're fatigued, do not drive, especially in poor weather. Either ask a passenger to drive or spend the night in a hotel. Your safety and that of your passengers is the best gift you can give.

These five tips will keep you safe while you're traveling this holiday season. If you need a tow truck service, visit Arctic Thunder Towing & Recovery.