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Top 5 things to ensure a safe ride home for the holidays

It’s the two days before Christmas eve and all through the office, employees excited about the upcoming holiday. Everyone ready to head to their cars and home for the long holiday weekend! It’s exciting…family, friends, gifts, last minute shopping, long weekend, too much food, too much drink, too much snow shoveling and more!

There is a lot to look forward to but you won’t be able to enjoy any of it if you don’t get home safe.

With sugar plumps dancing in your head It’s easy to get distracted during the holiday season. It’s also the worst time of year to not pay extra attention while on the roads.
Top 5 things to remember to ensure a safe ride home for the holidays:

1) Keep an extra eye out for hidden Stop Signs

Due to winter conditions stop sign visibility can become difficult. It’s darker earlier, snow can cover the signs, weather can wear away at their reflectivity, and some of them might even be bent due to wind.

2) Pay attention in parking lots

The best ways to protect yourself and others in a parking lot is to be aware of everything moving for 360 degrees (all the way) around your car. Besides careless drivers, speeding vehicles and pedestrians in parking lots. Be aware that they can be a prime target for thieves, pickpockets, carjackers and vandals. Following are some general parking lot safety tips:
• Watch for cars cutting diagonally across lots; drive slowly and use your turn signals.
• When backing out of a parking lot space, be aware of waiting cars, others who are backing out at the same time and motorists speeding through lanes.
• Display proper body language that shows that you are aware of any suspicious situations and people.
• Beware when mailing holiday greeting cards. At this time of year, post office parking lots have the highest incidents of accidents due to frequent customer turnover.
• Don't park between spots, especially in busy lots. You may only gain retribution from angry fellow shoppers.
• Avoid parking close to large vehicles if possible, as it will decrease your ability to see the area around you.
• Always hide your valuables and do not leave personal information displayed in your vehicle.
• Park in well-lit areas. If the lot is inadequately lit, let the management know.
• Get in the habit of rolling up your car windows and locking your car doors.
• Always have your keys ready when approaching your car and check the back seat and under the car before getting in.

3) Look before you go

After the stop light changes from red to green, take a second and look both ways to see if any cars might be sliding through the intersection. If you don’t see any then you are good to go. Even if you are driving through a green light you should slow down slightly and look for sliding cars. You might even see Santa’s sleigh!

4) Drive below the speed limit

A speed limit sign promotes a maximum, not a minimum, contrary to popular belief it is ok to drive below the limit especially in rough conditions. If someone is riding close behind you feel free to move to the right lane and let them pass, give them a nice happy holidays wave as the fly by.

5) Clean your car off right and don’t cut corners

I know it’s cold, and you want to cut corners and get in your warm car, but don’t give your car a quick brush down. Get all windows, hood and roof…make sure you have perfect visibility and all ice is removed. Driving in poor conditions is hard enough, don’t make it any harder.
Remember is you are traveling contact the state road condition number before you start. Here are the surrounding states road condition phone numbers.

NM Road Conditions-1.800.432.4269
TX Road Conditions-1.800.452.9292
CO Road Conditions-1.303.639.1111
OK Road Conditions- 1.405.425.2385
AZ Road Conditions- 1.888.411.7623

Remember these tips and enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

Safe driving to all and to all a good night.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings to you all

Ken O

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