The holiday season has arrived! Amidst the festivities and time off comes colder weather, bringing with it the potential for more hazardous driving conditions. We may not always get an abundance of ice and snow during an Oklahoma winter, but it’s important to be prepared, especially for those who are traveling to visit families and friends in colder areas.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests following the three P’s of winter driving safety: Prepare, Protect, Prevent.

Prepare for the Trip

  • Make sure to thoroughly examine your car’s maintenance, including the battery, tire tread, windshield wipers and antifreeze level, and keep your windows clear and use no-freeze fluid.
  • Always keep these in your car: a flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), a shovel, a snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets. For long trips, add food and water, medication and make sure your cell phone is charged at all times.
  • If you find yourself stopped or stalled, stay in your car, do NOT overexert, put bright markers on the antenna or windows and shine dome light, and, if you run your car, clear the exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.
  • Plan your route by checking the weather beforehand and planning your travel time accordingly, familiarizing yourself with the route, and informing others of your route and arrival time.
  • Go ahead and practice cold weather driving! If there is ice or snow in your area, slowly rehearse maneuvers in an empty lot during the daylight, steer into a skid, and become familiar with what your brakes can do. Remember: stopping distances will be longer on ice-covered areas.

Protect Yourself & Others

  • Always wear a seatbelt.
  • If you have children in the car, make sure their child safety seats are properly installed, never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an airbag, and keep in mind that children ages 12 and under are much safer in the back seat.

Prevent Crashes

  • NO drinking or drug usage before or during driving. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver to take the wheel.
  • Take it slow, and keep your distance between other cars.
  • Stay alert- watch for pedestrians and wildlife.
  • Make sure to get plenty of sleep before driving, and don’t overdo it. If you need to stop and take breaks, it’s better to do that than to push through the fatigue.

These tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will ensure that you not only have a jolly holiday season, but a safe one too. Remember to watch for Rudolph on the road, resist from drinking eggnog before driving, and don’t stay up too late before a long driving day to see if Santa comes.

From all of us at TBC Accident Care, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season!