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Christmas 2014 travel brief

December 19, 2014
Estherville News

How will record low fuel prices impact the 2014 holiday travel season? It's safe to say the roads will be busy. With that in mind, the Iowa State Patrol would like to remind motorists that making good traffic safety choices is easier with the best information in advance. Here are a few tips to consider before making your trip this holiday season.

n Winterize your vehicle Check the mechanical condition of your vehicle prior to your trip. Items to check include tire tread depth and inflation, battery condition, wiper blades, antifreeze levels, braking and lighting systems.

n Prepare a winter survival kit Items to include would be: cell phone/charger, blankets, shovel, sand, candle and matches, water, snack items, flashlight, and a red handkerchief. Remember to stay with your stranded vehicle in a winter storm. Never try to walk to safety.

n Buckle up Slick roads make single-vehicle rollover crashes more common in the winter months. These rollovers are known for causing unrestrained passengers to be thrown from the vehicle. Recently updated statistics show that 77% of these passengers ejected from their vehicle do not survive. Make sure to buckle all occupants in every seating position, on every trip.

n Drive defensively Anticipate the other motorist's mistakes, and be ready to overcome them to prevent a crash. Remember that while on the road, your number one priority should be driving.

n Avoid distractions There are so many things clamoring for our attention while driving, illegal and otherwise. Make the choice to stop texting and talking on your phoneand minimize the other distractions that may be legal (eating, navigating, etc.).

n Use a designated driver Driving impairment begins at one drink, even though you may not be over the limit to drive. Make sure to include a designated driver in your travel plans if the celebration involves alcohol.

On behalf of the Iowa State Patrol, we wish you a Merry Christmas and safe travels this holiday season.



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