Prep for winter safety on and off the roads

December 18, 2012 12:00 AM

With the holiday season upon us, many travelers are getting ready to hit the roads in order to spend the days with their friends and family. These drivers need to take some precautions during their journeys, however, as this time of year is known for weather-related crashes and vehicle thefts.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, New Year's Day is one of the busiest days for reported vehicle thefts, only behind Halloween. While Christmas Day is the least active time for car thieves, and the number of total stolen vehicles has been steadily declining for several years, drivers should still take some steps to prevent themselves from becoming victims, such as parking in well-lit areas, always locking a car and keeping any packages out of sight.

Car thieves are not the only thing drivers should worry about this season. The weather is one of the major problems drivers encounter when taking part in holiday travel. Winter means snowy conditions or icy streets for much of the nation, and nearly one-fourth of all weather-related crashes occur in these conditions, resulting in more than 1,300 deaths and 116,000 injuries every year, the Federal Highway Administration reports. Drivers can prevent accidents and the subsequent auto repair by staying distraction-free on the roads, preparing their cars for the weather with a tune up and avoiding practices like cruise control or tailgating. 

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