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Traveling Safely During the Holidays

Photo by Steve Long of Unsplash

With the holidays comes awkward weather outside of our fair city. Aliso Viejo is mild and dry, but if you head out east or north to visit loved ones for the holidays, you may encounter what Canadians categorize as ‘rough sledding’. 

One of the biggest causes of roadside accidents isn’t rudeness and taking advantage of others, it’s not having awareness of what you’re doing. It’s very easy to think of your car as an extension of yourself and believe it will shelter you from harm perfectly. But that’s an arrogant way to drive and it can put you, your car, and your passengers in danger.

It’s important not to treat a winter drive out of Aliso Viejo’s climate as typical. When you’re planning on taking a trip, no matter how short or how far the distance is, you should always treat the trip as a risk you are taking. Here are some tips we recommend for people hitting the roads for the holidays:


  • Announce yourself. Everyone likes surprises like family and friends turning up unexpectedly. No one likes finding out that a friend spent 12 hours in the freezing cold when their car broke down off the interstate and they couldn’t get a signal to call. Make sure someone responsible knows that you are making the trip before you leave, and update them on the way with your estimated time of arrival.

  • Do the math. You should work out how many miles you plan to drive and how much gas your car will consume. It’s good planning to consider what pit stops you need to make (food, gas, bathroom) and work them into your travel time. And it keeps the kids from asking “are we there yet” when they know the route, too, and know approximately what time their next stop will be. If you’re bringing pets, remember that traveling has extra stresses for them; don’t forget to plan for their breaks as you do your own.

  • Map the route. Always know where you are going and what weather you may encounter on the way. The internet has a number of good resources for this. Don’t count on phone apps or services that may be hindered in bad weather; make a printed copy of your route. And know your pit stops well-- how to get in, and how to get back safely to the highway.

  • Have an emergency kit. This can just be as simple as the things you’ll most need to get your car roadworthy again, like jumper cables, a tire inflator, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. If you have provisions and snacks for your trip, that can help make a long stay waiting for help to arrive into something manageable.

We hope you’ll take this advice in the friendly spirit of trying to keep you and yours safe over the holidays! If you’re concerned or need advice, come schedule an appointment and speak to Bob or Andrew about it, we’re glad to offer some travel advice. We look forward to seeing you soon!