Texting and DrivingAccording to AAA, 98.6 million Americans will travel 50-plus miles this holiday season! Here are some safety and travel tips for when you hit the road this holiday season.

Plan Your Route:
Planning your route and method of transportation ahead of time is ideal for beating traffic and getting to your destination on time!

Know What To Expect:
Check the weather a day or two before leaving for your holiday festivities. Remember, wet roads cause nearly 1.2 million traffic accidents each year. If it rains; drive slow, leave extra room and turn on your headlights.

Car Maintenance:
Make sure to have your car serviced before your road trip! Don’t become a scene from a movie and end up on the side of a long empty highway! Just in case, pack an emergency kit with blankets, flashlights, jumper cables, maps, matches, first aid kit, etc.

Designated Driver:
If you plan on taking part in holiday parties and drinking, designate a driver ahead of time. Better yet use public transit! Metro will be providing free rides on Christmas Eve as well as New Year’s Eve from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on all Metro bus and rail lines.

Rest and Relax:
The holidays are a time to relax and catch up on sleep, while enjoying the company of loved ones! Make sure you are well rested before driving especially late at night or on long road trips.

Cellphone Suckers:
Don’t let the cellphone suck you in while you are driving. Keep both hands on the steering wheel and eyes on the road at all times. Cellphone use causes 1 in 4 car accidents. If tempted by the use of your phone let your co-driver help out, pullover or put it in a bag in the backseat!

Airport Frenzy:
Avoid the stress of airports during the holidays with these simple reminders; pack light and wrap any presents at your destination, print your ticket ahead of time, use an airport shuttle or public transportation to avoid parking and traffic headaches, leave extra time when planning your trip, drink lots of water and bring ear plugs or headphones!

Remember the holidays are supposed to be fun and relaxing! If the holiday stress starts to weigh on you take a deep breath and exhale. Smile and remember it will be the perfect story at the holiday dinner table later!