Heavy traffic on snowy, wintery roads.

9 Tips for Safe Holiday Season Driving

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

The holidays are all about spending time with friends and family — which often means traveling in winter weather. Use our road safety tips to keep everyone safe and sound this season.

From celebrating with family to getting together with friends, the holidays are one of the best times of the year! And with all the excitement going on, it’s extra important to keep safety top of mind.

If you’re planning on hitting the road during the holidays, there’s a lot to consider when winter weather’s in the mix. Keep Yuletide spirits high and everybody safe with these winter driving safety tips.

Plan Ahead for Holiday Driving & Winter Weather

Decrease the stress of driving this holiday season by taking time to plan out your ride ahead of time. Your car will be safer, and those traveling with you will be too.

Get the right coverage. Be sure to contact your agent to review our road trip accident coverage options in case the unexpected happens when you’re away. It’ll give you peace of mind that you’ll have protection in place in case something were to happen on the road.

Get your car serviced. Make sure your car is up-to-date on maintenance and in good working order by checking in with your mechanic for a thorough review of your car’s winter road-worthiness. Will your trip include snow? It’s a great idea to winterize your vehicle and stock your car with a winter car survival kit — just in case something happens. And don’t forget those jumper cables!

Pad the travel time. Give yourself ample time to get where you’re going. Rushing in bad weather and heavy traffic is never a good idea. Instead, plan on a longer trip filled with family sing-alongs, road games and treats or small presents along the way.

Practice winter driving. If you haven’t driven in snow for a while, maybe it’s time to give it a whirl — in an empty parking lot. Practice stopping and turning in snow to give your mind and muscles a refresher on how to drive safely this winter. It’s also a real confidence booster.

Assign a designated driver. If your holiday celebrations include some parties, make sure you have a designated driver. Planning ahead makes it easier for everyone to enjoy happy hour and the safe ride home. Once the plans are made, thank that driver for being the real hero of your holiday road trip.

Protect your car from break-ins and theft. With all the fun that holiday travel brings, it’s easy to forget that your car can be at risk for burglary or theft. So keep your car safe this holiday season by learning how to prevent car theft. By following a few simple steps like moving valuables to the trunk and parking mindfully, you may be able to reduce the risk of your car becoming a target this holiday season.

Road Trips Are Smarter With Your Smart Phone

Travel smarter by leveraging the power of your smart phone this holiday season. Certain apps can help you get where you’re going more efficiently, and if something should happen while you’re out on the road, you’ll be glad you prepared your phone in advance.

Plan your drive with a travel app. Install a road trip app on your smartphone and map out your route. If possible, research heavy traffic times for the urban areas you’ll be passing to avoid the most congested times.

Don’t text and drive. Keep your passengers and the other cars on the road safer by avoiding distractions, like texting, fiddling with the music or eating. And when reaction time can be compromised by slippery roads, it becomes even more of a problem. If you’re the driver, let others deal with the cell phone or wait until you’re stopped. If you’re a passenger, help your driver do their job.

Bring along a cell phone charger. While you don’t want to use your phone when driving, you do want it to be working. Bring a charger so you can make sure your phone is charged in case of an emergency. If your car is Bluetooth enabled, pair it to your car before hitting the road for hands-free use.

Get the myamfam app. Don’t forget to install the MyAmFam app for your ride. And by enrolling in our roadside assistance protection program before you head out, help will be available to you when you need it most.

Get it on Google Play (Opens in a new tab)  Download on the App Store (Opens in a new tab)

One last item before you hit the road: Set aside a little time to review your auto coverage with your American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab). Your agent will help you build a custom-tailored car insurance policy to best protect your vehicle as you head out into the most wonderful time of the year!

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