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How to keep your family safe on holiday roads

You’re not just checking it twice when it comes to a list of presents. You’re also checking the weather twice before you set off to visit the in-laws or attend a holiday party.

Unfortunately, there are some dangers on the roads your weather app can’t predict, including drunk drivers and drowsy drivers, that also peak during the holiday season.

You can’t control everyone else on the road any more than you can control the weather, but you can take some steps to protect your family during holiday driving. Here are three places to start.

1. Get enough rest.

It’s probably a no-brainer that you’ll do the driving if your spouse has one too many eggnogs, but what if you’re running on just a few hours of sleep yourself? Don’t forget that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. No matter how packed your schedule is, make sure you schedule in enough time for a good night’s sleep. (You could also make a pact to lay off the eggnog.)

2. Time your travel.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, fatal crashes are far more likely to involve drunk drivers at night and on the weekend. If you can, schedule your travel – both road trips and in-town visits – so that you can have as much daylight as possible for the drive. For long trips, this might mean stopping early at a hotel instead of driving late into the night. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination in case of a sudden change in weather – and also so you aren’t tempted to speed.

3. Have a worst-case scenario plan.

The worst-case scenario can get even worse if you’re not prepared. Make sure you’re prepared for emergencies of all kinds, stocking your car with everything from ice scrapers to jumper cables. Make sure your car and health insurance information is up to date and easily accessible. And if you are involved in an accident, remember that it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney before dealing with an insurance company.

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