‘Arrive alive’: Safety Office offers holiday travel tips

  • Published
  • By Matthew Clouse
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE, Ohio -- More than 52 million Americans will travel to visit friends and family this holiday season, according to a survey conducted by thevacationer.com.

But before you hit the road, the 88th Air Base Wing Safety Office has some tips to make sure you arrive at your destination safely.

“These tips are crucial not only for you, but for other people on the road as well,” said Senior Airman Hayden Oatney, the unit’s occupational safety apprentice. “Be a safe, smart and courteous traveler.”

He says the first thing you should do is check your vehicle:

  • Battery. Also inspect the battery cables and terminals for cracks.
  • Coolant. Make sure it is a true 50-50 mixture of water and antifreeze to prevent the fluid from freezing in your radiator.
  • Wiper fluid. Use freeze-resistant fluid.
  • Wiper blades. Most are only good for up to one year.
  • Tire tread. Make sure the tread is at least 5/32” for the best winter traction. To test it, insert a penny into a tread groove with Lincoln’s head pointing down. If no part of his head is covered, your tires need to be replaced.

After checking the outside of your car, make sure you have recommended items on the inside in case of an emergency or you get stranded, Oatney says:

  • first-aid kit
  • jumper cables
  • water
  • blankets
  • flashlight
  • cellphone charger
  • reflective triangles
  • ice scraper
  • Nonperishable snacks such as granola bars, nuts, dried fruit or jerky.

Now that you’re ready to hit the road, Oatney has some final advice to stay safe on your journey:

  • Get at least seven hours of sleep the night before.
  • Always travel with a buddy. If you are traveling alone, make sure someone is aware of your plan and has your contact information.
  • Stop at a rest area and stretch if you’re getting tired.
  • Chewing gum increases circulation and alertness.
  • Be aware of snowplows and never drive directly behind them.

“We want everyone to be safe this holiday season,” he added. “The people of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will always be our No. 1 priority — arrive alive and take your time.”