The holidays are a time to be with friends, family, and loved ones—not in an emergency room. During winter months, all of our popular forms of transportation become more hazardous, including planes, trains, and automobiles. This holiday, get to your destination safely, even if more slowly, so that you can take full advantage of all that the season has to offer. Before you hit the road, review these seven holiday safety travel trips.
1. Prepare Your Car for a Winter Road Trip
If you are driving through the Pacific Northwest to your holiday travel destination, you may experience snow, rain, sleet, or ice on the roads. Ensure your vehicle is in proper working order before you begin your journey. Have your car inspected, ensure your tires are properly inflated, check your windshield wiper fluid, and gas up. Also, keep an emergency road kit in your vehicle that includes a flashlight, bottled water, blanket, and kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck in mud or snow and need to create traction under your tires.
2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 25 adults report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports that drowsy driving claimed 795 lives in 2017 alone. Be well rested before you begin your road trip. Instead of starting your drive after a long day of work and traveling through the night, get a good night’s sleep and drive feeling refreshed the next morning. Your family certainly wants to see you as soon as possible, but they’d rather have you arrive safely.
3. Hide Your Valuables
Unfortunately, some people aim to take advantage of holiday travelers. Hide your suitcases, laptops, and electronic equipment in your trunk or out of sight whenever you leave your vehicle, and keep your doors locked at all times.
4. Follow Flight Attendant Instructions
While the odds of a plane crash are extremely rare, there are occasions where flights are delayed, need to be rerouted, or passengers are asked to deplane while crews address an unexpected maintenance issue. Listen to the instructions of the flight attendants and airline personnel, and do your best to keep your frustrations in check. If your plane does experience an emergency event and passengers are instructed to evacuate quickly, leave your bags behind. They aren’t worth your safety.
5. Bring Emergency supplies on Your Train
If traveling by train, you, too, should be prepared for an unexpected delay or an emergency event. Bring an emergency kit with you that includes a spare cell phone charger, flashlight, bottled water, snacks, and a blanket.
6. Always Carry a Cell Phone and Spare Charger
No matter how you are traveling, being able to contact emergency personnel at any time is critical. Always carry your cell phone on you and ensure you have a spare battery or charger in your possession.
7. Bring Contact Information for Your Medical Team
One study found that airplane passengers are 100 percent more likely to get sick than non-airplane passengers. With 51 million people traveling during the holidays, that’s a lot of germs flying across the country and arriving in people’s homes. Make sure you have the phone numbers for all your physicians and physician offices in your phone. If you or your child gets sick while you’re away from home for any reason, you may want the advice of your regular physician or pediatrician. If you experience a true medical emergency while traveling, call 911.
From all of us at Nova Health, we wish you and yours a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. As always, we’re here if you need us.