Staying home this holiday season? A new poll shows that you are not alone. According to Rasmussen Reports, 62 percent of American adults say they are less likely to travel during the holidays this year compared to last year. Seven percent say they are more likely to travel and 29 percent say they expect to do the same amount of traveling this year as they did in the past.
Americans are still recovering from a rough economic year, so many are opting to stay close to home to save money on traveling. However, the poll also shows that the economy is not completely to blame. Forty-five percent say the economy is a factor in causing them to travel less this year, but 44 percent say that’s not the reason.
If you plan on hitting the roads this holiday you may find less traffic, but driving is still the primary transportation option; 75 percent say they will travel by car to get to their holiday destinations. Here are some tips to stay safe when driving this season.
- Pick the right tires. If you are headed through snowy conditions, consider a winter tire. Also, check tire pressure and replace worn tires before you head out.
- Clear off snow and ice. Before you hit the road, make sure you thoroughly brush off snow and ice from your car. This will help visibility and decrease the hazard to other drivers if the slippery stuff falls onto the road.
- Reduce speed. Drive smoothly and avoid any sudden movements. In slippery conditions tires lose their grip more easily.
- Put down the phone. Distracted driving is a major hazard. If you need to make a call, pull over.
- Get your route planned. Use an old-fashioned map or GPS to help guide you to your destination. Many of the latest GPS models have traffic capabilities to help you navigate through the holiday rush.
For more holiday driving tips, see our guide to safe winter driving.—Liza Barth