Tips for Parents
Safe Holiday Travel Tips
Student travel home for the holidays can be stressful for the whole family. Whether students are traveling via mass transportation, hitching a ride or driving their own car, there are safety issues to keep in mind. Prepare your student for travel by addressing these concerns.
Travel by Bus, Train or Plane
Students traveling via mass transportation should check schedules and advisories before heading out. Additionally, encourage them to:
- Review specific airline regulations and federal restrictions (at www.tsa.gov) regarding carry-on items and checked baggage, so they don't have to dismantle anything or throw things out at the airport.
- Keep their bags with them at all times.
- Carry important documents in front of their body, rather than in a backpack, purse or messenger bag that someone could easily snatch.
- Wait in public spaces where there are many people present.
- Carry a cell phone, if possible, to keep folks abreast of any changes or delays in travel plans.
- Carry a small amount of cash in a secure spot and a credit card, if possible, in case of an emergency.
- Dress appropriately for their destination.
Travel by Car
Students traveling by car should be aware of weather advisories and be prepared accordingly. Specifically, students driving through snowy conditions should:
- Winterize their car before heading out—the boxed checklist offers a great resource for making sure everything is in working order and ready to go for cold weather conditions.
- Allow extra time to reach their destination when the roads are slick and avoid making sudden stops and turns.
- Keep their gas tank close to full, so that an unanticipated delay or traffic detour will not be problematic.
- Wear a seat belt.
- Remember that bridges and overpasses freeze before road surfaces and take extra caution.
- Allow additional stopping distance between cars when driving on wet roads.
- Keep their windshields and lights clear of accumulations of ice and snow.
- Know what to do if they skid on ice or get stuck in snow. (When skidding, counter steer to regain control and then steer the car in the same direction that the rear wheels are sliding. When stuck in snow, remove snow from the area around the tire and spread sand or salt under the wheel instead of spinning the wheels.)
- Use common sense. There are occasions when the best driving decision is not to drive. It's better to be safe and get home a bit later than to get in an accident.
- Bring a cell phone, if possible, with pre-loaded highway information networks for updates on road conditions, along with emergency contact numbers.
- Make sure they have an ice scraper and/or broom for cleaning off their car.
- Be aware of alternate routes, in case weather conditions warrant detouring traffic from the main roadway.
- Make sure they have extra blankets, warm clothing, and other emergency gear should the need arise.
Car Checklist for Winter Travel
- Get a tune-up
- Check battery
- Check coolant
- Fix leaks
- Check wipers
- Fill your tank
- Fill washer fluid
- Carry sand bags
- Check rear defrost
- Know your car
- Get snow tires
- Carry supplies
- Have a phone
- Carry tire chains
- Clean off your car
- Go slowly
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
Copyright 2006, 125 Paterson Ave., Little Falls, NJ 07424