Can you believe 2010 is coming to an end? All of a sudden New Year’s Eve is here and it’s that time to remember all the good things from the past year and ring in the new year with style and celebration. Most of you will be heading out to a favorite restaurant or bar, or even to a friend’s house for festive drinks. All of us here at Garage-Girls want to remind you this night day can be the most dangerous for drivers due to increased traffic, the potential for bad weather and higher risk of drunk drivers on the road. Here are some New Year’s Eve safety tips to consider before driving:
1. Say “no” to drinking and driving Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Be smart and plan ahead if you’re going to be drinking at a holiday gathering. Take a cab, stay at a friend’s house or designate a sober driver. Some bars and restaurants offer safe rides home as a service to patrons during the holidays.
2. Be a cautious, yet defensive driver Even if you’re not drinking at your New Year celebration, you need to be extra aware of what’s going on around you when you drive. If you spot someone whom you suspect of driving under the influence, call the police and give them the license plate number. You might save multiple lives by being proactive and thinking of the safety of yourself and others.
3. Prepare your vehicle for cold weather Want to know important holiday safety tips when hitting the road? Have your car checked to ensure it’s prepared for winter driving. The battery and brakes are two essential things to have checked. Make sure tires are properly inflated so they provide the best traction possible. Also make sure your engine coolant and windshield washer fluid is full.
4. Check the weather before heading out Cold weather can bring snow and rain that is traitorous to drive through, especially on New Year’s Eve. Before you drive, take time to remove any snow and ice from your vehicle, including the mirrors and lights. If the weather is particularly bad, you may want to cancel your plans or simply leave earlier or later. If you do decide to drive during bad weather, make sure you have a charged cell phone handy, and either let people know when, where and how you are traveling, or have a passenger with you for additional safety in numbers.
5. Make an emergency driving kit. Should the worst happen, be prepared by having a winter driving kit in your car. It’s best if the kit includes a small bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter), a small snow shovel, a snow brush, traction mats, a flashlight with new batteries, window washer solvent, an ice scraper, a cloth or roll of paper towels, jumper cables, a blanket, warning devices (flares or triangles), drinking water and extra clothes.