Think Twice Before “Dashing Through the Snow” this Holiday Season
Thanksgiving Day is almost here, with its turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce and car accidents. Don’t remember hearing about that last part? That’s right, folks. With an estimated 39.1 million people traveling by car at least 50 miles from home for the Thanksgiving holiday, the celebration ranks among one of the most dangerous holidays for those of us on the road. But that’s no reason to avoid the highways this Turkey Day.
Here at FedEx we have thousands of drivers on the road every day of the year. Sunny skies or winter weather, safety (ours and yours!) is our first priority. So to keep our friends, family, customers and team members safe and sound this holiday season, we’ve got a few tips on safe driving during those dark, snowy months.
Leave the sliding for the one-horse open sleigh. Icy or rainy roads can cause your car to skid and potentially spin out of your control. If you encounter slick roads during the holiday season and begin to skid, do not slam on your brakes. When brakes lock, the car’s wheels continue to spin without moving the car forward. Help to avoid skidding altogether by driving at a slower speed than normal and approaching sharp turns with caution.
You’ll be Home for Christmas around the same time, no matter how closely you follow the cars in front of you. Over the course of my 20+ years of professional driving, I’ve noticed the same thing over and over again. People seem to think they’ll get where they’re going faster if they tailgate…but in the end the time you save is minimal (if any!) and the risk you create for yourself and your fellow drivers is significant. This holiday season, keep your distance to ensure you are home for Christmas safe and sound.
Make a packing list, check it twice. Be sure to stock your car with a safety kit. In areas where the possibility of a snowstorm is high, store an ice scraper and antifreeze fluid in your trunk so you can clear your windshield for maximum visibility. Other road trip necessities include a car charger for your cell phone, printed map, tool kit and a full tank of gas. Most importantly, check the weather forecast before you leave the house so you are prepared!
Listen for the sound of jingle bells ringing, not your phone. With everything going on during the holidays, it’s easy to want to multitask whenever possible. Leave the multitasking at home and don’t be tempted to use your phone when driving. Talking on the phone and texting lead to accidents so keep your device out of sight and concentrate on the road instead.
Let your headlights guide your sleigh at night! Dark roads can be hard to navigate even in good weather. If the weather is clear, use your high beams to ensure you can see the road, as well as any people or animals that may cross your path. But remember – in fog or heavy precipitation, low beams may be more advisable.
From our FedEx family to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!