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Holiday travel: Quick safety tips

If you're hitting the road this holiday season, here are some quick tips with safety in mind:

Check the weather before you leave - Know the forecast! If snow and/or ice are projected, drive only if necessary and preferably during daylight hours. Allow extra time and stick to main roads - they are more likely to be clear or treated. Share your schedule and route with someone in case you run into problems.

Have a winter emergency kit - be sure you have a snow shovel, broom, and ice scraper in your car. Sand or cat litter can help give you traction if you get stuck in snow. Be sure to have jumper cables, a flashlight, and road flares. As conditions may include cold temperatures, be sure to pack a blanket, coats, water, food, and any necessary medications.

Feel rested before you start - plan to leave in the morning after a good night's sleep. If you start to feel sleepy, switch drivers or find a safe spot (rest stop) to take a break. Simply turning on the radio or cracking open a window may not be enough.

Wear your seat belt - no exceptions, even if you're wearing a bulky coat or sweater. If your car were to slip or slide, restraints will make your trip safer for everyone in the car.

Focus on the road - it's easy to become distracted by your phone, or even food, while you drive. With extra traffic on the highways, and the possibility of sloppy roads, driving demands your full attention.

Designate a driver - if you're heading to a holiday party, designate a driver in advance. It's easy to misjudge how long alcohol could effect your safe and legal driving ability. Simply put, if you're going to drink, don't drive.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

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