The holidays are just around the corner! Christmas week is known to be one of the busiest holiday travel times of the year and is notoriously prone to traffic. Here are our best tips for avoiding, and surviving, the mayhem on the roads:
The best way to avoid traffic is to plan ahead. Make sure you know the weather conditions and be aware of hazardous conditions that could slow down your drive. Avoid traveling during rush hour when possible, through big cities, or at other times when heavy traffic is expected.
Not sure where to start? Check out the AAA Thanksgiving Travel Forecast for your area, or your local news station.
Don’t be afraid to deviate from the norm.
If you know you usually hit traffic on your usual route home, try switching it up a little. Try a different route to get around backed-up intersections, or look for ways to avoid traffic-heavy areas. Many drivers use navigation apps like Waze that help to redirect drivers around jams and hazards using real-time, crowdsourced traffic updates. The app will alert you before you approach law enforcement, accidents, road hazards, or traffic jams, all shared by other drivers in real-time.
Though not as advanced as Waze, both Apple Maps and Google Maps will also often suggest alternative routes to save you a few extra minutes– and, if you do hit traffic, the app will show how severe it is and how long you’re expected to be sitting or slowed.
Be on the lookout for increased holiday traffic enforcement.
In most states, there will be increased levels of law enforcement as more and more cars get on the road to head home. You should always strive to follow the rules of the road but, during holiday travel times, it’s especially important to be on your best behavior. Watch your speed, use your blinkers as needed, and be courteous of other drivers. While it may be tempting to bend the rules, even a small slip-up could cause you to be pulled over and severely delayed.
Plan for the worst—just in case.
And, just in case all else fails, you should be prepared for the worst. You should always make sure your car has had any necessary service before taking a long road trip; make sure your fluids are topped off, your gas tank is full, and your trunk is stocked up with all of the essentials before you get going. You should also double-check your winter emergency kit, so you’re prepared if you get caught in a dangerous situation.
Whether you’re heading across the country, across the state, or even just across town, V&F is here to help make sure you get home safely. At V&F Auto, our family-owned and operated service center has been providing top-quality auto repair services to Agawam, Feeding Hills, Southwick, West Springfield, and the surrounding Massachusetts communities since 1988. If your car needs maintenance or repair, call us at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.
This article was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated.