There is nothing better than traveling home to spend the holidays with family and friends. But, as the season starts to get a little hectic, it’s a good idea to take a minute to remember the importance of being prepared and cautious while traveling! Take time out to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape BEFORE you head out.

Once you’re sure your battery and wipers and belts and hoses (oh, my!) are winter-driving-ready, here’s a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe as you hit the road this year.

4 Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

1. Watch out for aggressive drivers. With holiday parties and excess eggnog, there is an increase in incidents involving aggressive and/or drunk drivers this time of year. Never drink and drive! If you are drinking, always establish a designated driver at the beginning of the night, and if you see anyone driving erratically or dangerously, report it to the police immediately.

2. Be Alert. Too much turkey and pie this holiday season can cause even the safest drivers to get a little sleepy behind the wheel. Make sure you are alert and take frequent breaks to stretch and stay hydrated. Limit unnecessary distractions, and get plenty of rest the night before you travel.

3. Pay attention to weather conditions. Black ice, sleet, snow, and other adverse weather can make driving downright dangerous. When avoiding the weather isn’t possible, make sure that your car is up-to-date on all maintenance services. Make sure your tires have enough tread and traction, your brakes are working properly and your windshield wipers are effective before traveling. It’s never a bad idea to have your vehicle checked out by an auto repair professional to ensure that it is safe for you to make a long road trip.

4. Be prepared. While we never want something to go wrong on the road, it’s important to plan ahead and be ready in case something does. Have an emergency kit in the car containing water, food and blankets. Make sure your cell phone battery is charged, or have a phone charger that hooks up to your car. Know a trusted towing company or auto repair mechanic you can call if your car breaks down. Always plan for when to stop for gas, and never fall below ¼ of a tank while on the highway.

Use these four tips for better holiday travel to help you get to your destination safely. If you have any questions about your car, truck, SUV, minivan or hybrid before your trip, the friendly team at your local Brickyard Transmission Care Center will be happy to make sure your automobile is up-to-date on any needed vehicle maintenance and auto repair before you set off.