“This year, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers will hit highways to celebrate the holidays with family and friends in and out of state,” said Senator Parker. “Whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s, the holiday spirit shines brightest when family and friends gather together.
“Without proper preparation, a trip can turn treacherous, even tragic,” Senator Parker added. “By being prepared for all that Mother Nature has to offer, you can have peace of mind while you’re on the road this holiday season.”
Senator Parker said the first thing drivers must do is have their cars checked. This includes the battery and lights; defroster and heater; motor oil; wiper blades and wiper fluid; antifreeze; belts, hoses, and filters; tire pressure; and brakes and brake fluid.
“Whether you do it yourself or have a qualified mechanic do it, make sure you adhere to the four ‘re-’s’ -- repair, replace, refill, and replenish -- to your car’s most important parts,” s/he said.Brooklyn lawmaker also passed along these important pre-trip tips:
Ÿ Always maintain at least a half-tank of gas;
Ÿ Have a cell phone with you at all times in the event of an emergency;
Ÿ Make sure the following items are in your trunk: windshield scraper and brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and a bag of sand or cat litter for traction;
Ÿ Bring a breakdown kit, which includes a flashlight, blanket, road flares, extra batteries, food, water, and a first-aid kit;
Ÿ Stay aware of changing weather and road conditions by listening to or watching local TV and radio stations. The New York State Thruway Authority also provides road conditions and traffic information through its Highway Advisory Radio Service, available on your car radio at 530-AM, or by calling 1-800-THRUWAY (1-800-847-8929).
“Once your car is ready for the trip ahead, your job is only half done,” Senator Parker said. “It’s up to you to make sure you and your family safely get from Point A to Point B. The best way to make that happen is to follow three simple rules: slow down, keep your distance, and brake cautiously.”
Senator Parker recalled the lyrics of a 1970’s rock song to sum up his advice for holiday travelers:
“Slow ride, take it easy,” he said. “During the holidays, the roads will be filled with shoppers and revelers trying to get to where they are going. It’s a given that such traffic will leave more than a few drivers in a less-than-giving mood. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a Scrooge or Grinch this time of year. Wherever you’re going, plan ahead, bring a smile, have some patience, and cut others a little slack. It’s the best way to spread holiday spirit and good cheer this season.”