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A holiday road trip is fun, also full of potential trouble

There's no better feeling than packing the car, jumping in the driver's seat and taking a road trip during the holiday season. It doesn't matter if you're visiting your family for Thanksgiving, your friends for Christmas or simply getting away from the daily grind, you're sure to be excited.

As fun as a holiday road trip may be, don't overlook the potential trouble lurking around every corner. It's critical to properly prepare for the time you'll spend on the road, as doing so decreases the likelihood of an accident. Here's what you need to do:

  • Prepare your vehicle: From checking your tire pressure and windshield wipers to changing all necessary fluids, don't leave home until you're 100% sure your vehicle is ready for the road ahead. If you don't know what you're looking at, visit a local mechanic or dealership before hitting the road.
  • Get enough rest: Drowsy driving is a leading cause of accidents, so you don't want to find yourself fatigued when behind the wheel. Bank as much sleep as possible before you embark on your holiday journey.
  • Avoid distractions: From texting to turning around to see what your children are doing in the back seat, there are many distractions that have the potential to cause an accident.
  • Share the road: You can't control the decisions that other drivers make, but you can share the road to lessen the likelihood of an accident. For example, rather than try to speed past a truck in the right lane, sit back and wait until you can safely pass in the left lane.
  • Keep an eye on the sky: If you're one of our Massachusetts readers traveling in the northeast, rain, snow and strong winds can move into the area without much notice. Inclement weather calls for you to adjust your driving style.

If you run into trouble on your holiday road trip, such as an accident caused by a negligent driver, assess the situation, call 911 if necessary and decide how to best proceed.

The health of you and your passengers is top priority, so don't turn down medical treatment. Also, make sure you file an insurance claim as soon as possible and begin to collect information and evidence pertaining to the crash. Doing these things will help protect your legal rights.

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