Hooray for road trips! Some of my fondest memories are of taking a family trip, in the family car, through blinding snow to visit my Grandmother for Christmas Day. Our holiday travel was a five hour drive and I always had the back window of the car “reserved” as my traveling compartment. I was like a caged animal in that back window. My sisters, badgering me until I would eventually give up my spot so they could take over my post. Sometimes I would hunker down and sleep on the floorboard. Besides, my mother couldn’t reach me from there. We were the most annoying kids. My mother would drive the entire trip with one hand on the steering wheel and the other arm just swinging away at us in the back seat. Her swinging arm was quite impressive, like Popeye’s spinach(k) arm. While, her steering arm didn’t get an equal amount of exercise. Her steering arm was almost atrophied. Like the swinging arm went to Gold’s Gym and the steering arm, not so much. She would also leave us in the car for hours in the summertime while she’d go into the grocery store. Now, if you leave a kid in a hot car, you go to the prison of your choice for a long, long time. I recall, one time I saw her come out of the grocery store and hop in a cab and leave. I never asked any questions. She was probably going off to visit her “nicer” family, I’m assuming.

This year, we are fortunate enough to stay home for the holidays and not do any traveling. But, for those of you who are planning to venture out on your long winter’s journey, here are a few tips to keep you safe during holiday travel.
Have your car checked out before you leave for your trip. Have the tires checked to be assured there is adequate tread for slippery roads. Make sure they are properly inflated and that your spare tire is ready for an emergency. If your tire jack that came with the car is a flimsy piece of junk, as they usually are these days, invest in an easy to operate jack at your local auto parts store. Have your fluid levels checked and topped off. If you haven’t already done so, flush and replace your antifreeze. Chances are, you won’t be parking in someone’s garage when you arrive at your destination, and your car will be exposed to the elements. Invest in a snow scaper and a pair of waterproof gloves. Be sure that your windshield wiper fluid is also filled and your oil grade is of the correct viscosity for cold weather. Try to put together a winter car care kit for an emergency, with blankets, water, crackers, and other items to keep you warm and alive in the event that you do get stranded on the side of the road.

And, have safe, happy travels. Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Holiday Travel – Comedy Defensive Driving