Happy Life

#happylife: Know before you go! Being prepared for holiday travel before you start the car

SPOKANE, Wash. - Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year. If you're not prepping a turkey, Washington State Patrol wants you to prep your car.

All drivers want to get to their destination in one piece. To make that happen, everyone needs to practice safe driving habits on the roads.

WSP said most of these habits start before you even put a key in the ignition.

Winter driving conditions are unpredictable. That's why WSP wants you to have a car emergency kit in case you get stuck on a mountain pass or the side of the road.

Your car emergency kit should include:

  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Blanket
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone charger
  • Tire chains
  • Ice scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Flares, warning triangles
  • Kitty litter (for traction)
  • Whistle

WSP is also reminding drivers to know where they're going and how they're getting there before a trip. They recommend downloading the WSDOT app to your mobile phone, and check it before you leave. You want to make sure there are no traffic revisions or road closures on your route. You can also check WSDOT for mountain pass conditions. Just don't check while you're driving, either have a passenger check for you or pull over.

Drivers also need to change their driving behavior to fit the weather conditions. WSP saw this issue on I-90 Tuesday, when almost 50 car crashes happened on the highway. Slow down for freezing temperatures, there could be icy patches on the road you can't see.

Border-to-Border DUI emphasis patrols started this week. Law enforcement from western Montana, to Idaho, to Washington are teaming up to remove drivers under the influence off the road. 

If you're going to be drinking, make arrangements to get home. Call a cab or ride-share service, or make plans for a place to stay. 

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