Irving, Texas – March 7, 2014 – As spring break is set to begin nationwide, millions of drivers will take to crowded highways and potentially face seasonal road hazards. To help drivers arrive at their final destinations safe and sound, the National Motor Club (NMC), a leading provider of emergency roadside assistance and other safety, security and savings benefits, offers the following spring break travel tips:
- Become familiar with your route - Before you hit the road for the week ahead, be sure to map out your main route and identify resting and eating stops. You should also become familiar with alternate routes in case construction or inclement weather conditions make it necessary for you to take a detour.
- Add a low-tech map to your high-tech navigation - Smartphone navigators and GPS systems are great tools for directing you to your final destination, but you should also carry a paper map in case you lose your cell phone signal or the ability to recharge electrical equipment. Highlighting your route on the paper map, and your alternate routes in a different color, will make it easier for you to stay on course.
- Never, under any circumstance, drink and then drive - If you are traveling and decide to spend a night out on the town, always remember to have a designated driver or simply leave the car at home. Alcohol impairs your judgment, making you more susceptible to accidents, especially when behind the wheel. Taxi cabs and other forms of public transportation are available in every major city and are usually a safe, reliable option when traveling home from a night out with friends.
- Keep valuables out of sight - If you are traveling with valuables, be sure to keep them out of sight at all times. You can lock them away in the trunk, glove compartment or center console, or store them under the seat or any other place where they are not visible.
- Don't be a distracted driver - Save the phone calls and texting until you stop for a break or reach your final destination. If you must make a phone call or send a text, pull over to the side of the road. And, avoid eating while driving. It may be tempting to shave a few minutes from your trip by grabbing a bite from the drive-thru, but you'll be safer and more rested if you simply stop and take a brief meal break.
- Keep a road emergency kit in the car - Anything can happen on the road, and having a spring break road kit ensures your safety if you should have maintenance problems or become stranded along the way. Stock the kit with booster cables, chains or a tow strap, a small shovel, sand or cat litter, a first aid kit, a flashlight and fresh batteries, an extra pair of socks and gloves, a blanket, snacks and water, an ice scraper, and flares and matches.
- Maintain your vehicle - Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained by checking the fluid levels, tire pressure and tread, and other key parts and functions. Have your mechanic check for any major issues and perform the recommended maintenance services based on your vehicle mileage.
- Drive cautiously - During the week of spring break, it is especially important to be cautious of hazardous roads as wintery conditions are still affecting many parts of the country. Keep an eye out for wet or icy roads, take your time and slow down on the curves. Most importantly, be patient. Additional cars on the highway may result in traffic backups and angry drivers. You can avoid a collision or a road rage incident by keeping your cool.
- Have a roadside assistance plan - Managing a breakdown, like changing a flat tire, is dangerous enough on its own, much less on a busy highway. Taking extra precautions in such instances is a must, for safety's sake. National Motor Club urges you to have a roadside assistance provider ready to call, to help ensure your safety. Make sure you have your provider's toll-free number in your wallet, purse, glove compartment and/or cell phone. If you do not have a roadside assistance plan, join NMC today!
- And remember...Always wear your seat belt - Not only is it the law but it can save your life.
"Each year, millions of drivers hit the roads to spend the week of spring break with families and friends, and we want them to be prepared for the additional road hazards associated with increased highway traffic and seasonal weather conditions," said Matt Krzysiak, CEO of National Motor Club. "Whether they are traveling cross-country or just an hour away, these tips will help any driver remain safe during their journey."
View the Spring Break Safety Tips Infographic
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