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Tips for a safe holiday road trip

Is your spouse one of those people who likes to drive as long as possible without stopping on a road trip? Do they prefer to skip the overnight hotel stays and meal breaks and just "push on through" until you reach your destination? Maybe you're the one in the family who likes to do that.

You can save time and money by driving straight through to your destination. However, you can't do it alone, and you need to be prepared. Let's look at just a few safety tips for a long road trip:

  • Make sure your vehicle is ready. Check all of the liquid levels and tires and be sure you have a good spare tire. Have all of your vehicle documents easily available (including registration, insurance and roadside assistance numbers).
  • Have at least one other driver to alternate with. Setting a driver schedule can be helpful, but anytime the driver is tired or just needs a break, stop or switch.
  • While it's not your turn to drive, get some sleep. If there's more than one designated driver, it's helpful if one of them can be in the front seat with the driver helping them navigate if necessary, changing channels on the radio and tending to the kids or others in the vehicle who need something.
  • Don't be afraid to stop. If everyone is just too tired to drive safely or if the weather or road conditions get bad, look for a motel to spend the night. Don't just pull over and sleep. That can be very dangerous. Depending on where you are, it might also be illegal.

Unfortunately, not all holiday travelers follow these safety tips. You may encounter drowsy, drunk and/or lost drivers on the road. The more alert you are, the more prepared you are for them. However, if you're injured in a crash caused by another driver, make sure you know all of your options for seeking the compensation you need and deserve.

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