Holiday driving tips, pets

If you plan on traveling during the holidays or at any time during the winter months, check your entire vehicle routinely to make sure everything is in proper working order. The most neglected parts of a vehicle are the windshield wipers and the wiper fluid. This is one of the most important items to check on your vehicle to make sure you have a clear field of vision while driving.

Always try to keep your gas tank at least 1/2 full at all times during the winter months. Create an emergency kit to carry in your vehicle. It should consist of a battery-powered radio, a blanket, jumper cables, a small fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food items, maps, a tire repair kit, road flares or reflectors, matches, candles, kitty litter, etc.

Before traveling, listen to weather forecasts and road conditions to determine the safest way to travel. Take alternate routes when necessary, and stay on well traveled roads. It is imperative that you let friends or relatives know approximately how long your drive will be and the route you are taking. Become familiar with your route and know where the turn-offs and exits are.

In this day and age, we rely a lot on the modern technology of cell phones. The downside to this is that many areas do not have service, or we forget to bring along a charger. If this happens, we have to rely to what we have on hand, so it’s always best to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

We also are asking motorists to drive defensively. With the added holiday traffic, people are in more of a hurry to get places and they are more likely to make mistakes while driving. Always be on the lookout for another person. Also allow plenty of time to get to your location and take breaks often to stay refreshed and alert.

Always buckle up! By simply using your seat belt, you are reducing the chance of fatal injuries by more that 45 percent should you be involved in a crash. Fastening your seat belt is one of the easiest ways to increase road safety. Seat belt usage is a state law and receiving a citation for not wearing your seat belt is no fun, especially during the holidays.

We know everyone likes to enjoy the holiday festivities, but if you are consuming alcohol, do not drive. During the holidays, DUIs and alcohol-related accidents skyrocket. By using a designated driver, this decreases accidents and promotes traffic safety.


Make provisions for your outside pets during the winter months. Sometimes, they can become neglected with all of the festivities happening. Make sure they have shelter and plenty of food and fresh water. With freezing temperatures, water becomes frozen in a short period of time, and animals have to have access to water.


John Merchant21 Posts

John Merchant currently serves as Brown County (Kansas) Sheriff.


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