'Tis The Season to Avoid Accidents

Be Prepared for The Unexpected

Holiday cheer is very near, and this holiday season the sounds of chiming bells will not be the only noise coming from the streets. Unfortunately, wintertime also brings an increase of other less jolly street noises, like the resonating sounds of automobile crashes a-crinkling and horns a-honking. Why, you may ask? The holidays are marked by a swell of people taking both short and long distance vacations to visit family and friends. When you consider that more travelers will be making merry with alcohol; add colder, wetter weather to the mixture, and you have a disastrous holiday recipe for a not-so-merry car accident.

Don't let a smash-up spoil your holiday bash! By taking a few additional safety measures, most accidents are preventable to a large extent. Before you hop in your four-wheeled-sleigh to dash across the nation, make sure to go over your accident prevention checklist and check it twice:

1) Tires Are NOT Forever

Maintain Your Tires

Your family's safety starts with the 4 things that actually touch the highway: tires! Check to see that all tires are inflated properly; you'll get better gas mileage and more importantly, added safety benefits. Also, don't neglect your tire tread; if any of your tires are balding, you are at a substantial risk of having a very dangerous tire blow out. Furthermore, worn tires don't allow you to stop as promptly; which could have grave consequences when visions of rain, snow, and ice are dancing on the road!

2) Slow Down and Smell the Sugar Plums

Everyone is well aware that safe drivers are supposed to observe the speed limit. However, a throng of drivers have a very tough time of doing such. Why should you obey the speed limit? Well, you'll save both money and quite possibly human lives. Driving the appropriate speed not only gives you better fuel economy, you'll also have added time to respond and control your car when unexpected obstacles pop up on the road. Need more motivation not to be in a hurry? Santa won't slap you with a $250+ speeding ticket when your overstretched checkbook can least afford it.

3) Grandma Got Run Over by a Distracted Reindeer

No Distracted Driving Please

Will you be naughty or nice this winter when operating your motor vehicle? Everyone knows that good boys and girls drive with their eyes on the road, two hands on the wheel and their minds on full alert. If you don't want coal in your stocking this year, then put down your cell phone, iPod, food, razor, makeup, or any other item that will distract you from your most important goal: getting over the hills and through the woods to grandma's house in one piece.

4) Driving? Don't Spike the Eggnog

It's that time of year when loads of people like to be merrier when it comes enjoying the drinkable "holiday spirits". Use a Sober DriverDriving drunk or buzzed is an assured way to darken everyone's holiday glow. Don't be a spoilsport this winter and stay in the passenger seat if you've been making too many clinking-glass toasts. Better yet, be a holiday hero by staying clear-headed so you can chauffeur the tipsy merrymakers home safely.

5) The Fastened Won't Be Furious

Motorists everywhere are much better when it comes to wearing seat belts these days, but shockingly, some numbskulled-navigators still don't bother to fasten in. Worse yet, some parents still haul around their brood without bothering to see if everyone is safely buckled up first. You can set the example by always buckling up as soon as you take a seat. Then take a look around to be sure your loved ones do the same before you put your sleigh in drive. Buckle Up

6) Not Every Holiday is Silver and Gold

Odds are that your 12 days of Christmas, 8 days of Hanukkah, or the x-number of days of your own holiday will unwrap without any surprise automobile breakdowns. Yet, everyone is bound to go through some sort of vehicle breakdown at some point. Why not be equipped with a potentially life-saving safety kit when that time comes? A few items to donate to your car's trunk this year: a flashlight, drinking water, jumper cables, blankets, a first aid kit, non-perishable food, and an emergency phone.

Now that you have your accident prevention safety checklist in order, it's up to you to make it your pre-New Years' resolution to stick to it. Furthermore, if you're really feeling giving this winter, pass this checklist list along to your family and friends; it's the gift that keeps on giving miles of safe driving!