Make a plan, take precautions for safe holiday travel

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        Many families will be traveling for the holidays, so I’d like to give some tips that should help make that trip safer and more enjoyable.
        AAA is estimating that millions of people will be traveling 50 miles or more to get to where they want to go.
        If you are going to stay in a motel along the way or when you get to your destination, try to park your vehicle as close to the entrance as possible. Hopefully, where you park is in a well-lit area.
        Don’t leave anything valuable in your vehicle, especially Christmas presents. While this may require you to take those valuables and presents to your room and back, it is well worth the trouble.
        Don’t carry a purse with long straps and keep the purse in your hands or under your arm. This will discourage anyone from trying to grab it.
        Keep your hotel door locked at all times, and don’t use anything to prop open the door, even to make a quick trip to the ice machine or vending machines.
        Plan your route and share that route with someone at your destination, if possible. Give that person information regarding times you expect to leave to head their way and an estimated time of arrival. Make sure you keep them informed of any changes, such as later than expected times. That way, if you have not arrived within a reasonable amount of time, they can start making calls to see where you are.
        Allow extra time for restroom breaks and time to stop for food and drinks.
        You may want to consider having your vehicle inspected by a mechanic you trust. Tell that mechanic you are planning to travel over the holidays.
        Check the pressure in your tires and check to make sure you have plenty of tread on them. And don’t forget to check the spare. Nothing ruins holiday travel like a flat tire, and it’s worse if you don’t have a good spare.
        Keep your eye on the fuel gauge, and don’t allow your gas tank to get too low. Check the air in your tires before you head out. When traveling during this time of year, take some blankets along in case you become stranded.
        Make sure your cell phone is fully charged before you leave home and take a car charger with you. And remember you may not have a good signal in some areas.
        When you arrive at your destination, park your vehicle in a safe place and remove all valuables and presents.
        These are just a few things you can do to have a safe and happy trip for the holidays.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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