‘Tis the season’ for road safety

The holiday season is upon on us: parties, presents, snow, lights and long drives. Along with the fun and excitement also comes the stress and distractions. This is very evident on our highways. The roads are packed with vehicles from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

Vehicles are often driven by stressed and distracted drivers. Add in icy roads and the holiday season can conjure up the perfect storm for dangerous driving situations. Remember, no one leaves their home expecting to cause a crash, but just one second of lost focus on the road can lead to grave consequences.

So what can you do to keep your family safe?

If you plan on drinking, also plan a sober ride home.

Set your GPS before you leave.

Turn off your phone and place it in a glove box. Do seat-belt checks for the whole family before you go.

Don’t eat while driving.

Understand that kids will be excited and sometimes impatient — take a tip from the bus driver and “pull the bus over” instead of losing your cool while driving.

Have a road safety kit in your car along with any numbers you need to call in case you are delayed or if a crash does occur while en route to your destination. — Russell Branjord, Elk River (Editor’s note: Branjord is the director of of the Boys & Girls Club of Elk River and a member of the Sherburne County Safe Roads Coalition)