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Whether you are going on a road trip or just running your daily errands, car safety should always be your top priority. From ensuring your children are safely secured to being cautious of how you are driving on the road, winter safety tips can often go overlooked. To ensure you arrive and return safely, here are the top tips you’ll want to remember before hitting the gas pedal.

Car Seat Safety

Beyond ensuring your car seat is safely installed, there a lot of safety hazards that can come along with your car seat. Though bundling up your little one in a winter coat or snowsuit is a must for the outdoors, it’s a car seat safety no-no. The more layers, the more slack your child’s car seat harness has. Instead, opt for fleece or put the coat on backward, above the straps.

ProTip: For thinner jackets that you’re unsure about, test them out by adjusting the straps with the coat on. Take off the coat, and place your child back in the car seat. If you can pinch the material of the straps while they’re in the seat without a jacket, the jacket is too bulky to be worn.

Headlight Check

On a dark snowy or rainy night, you’ll want to ensure you have full visibility on the road. You want to see and be seen. By keeping your headlights clean, clear and aimed in the right direction, you can be sure they are doing the best job possible for you to see any hazards that might come your way.

Watch The Road

It can be quite easy to get distracted from time to time — especially if you are going a familiar route — but it only takes a second for an accident to occur. Always keep your eyes on the road, avoid texting and driving, and be mindful of stop signs and traffic lights. By keeping your focus on the task at hand, you’ll have better reaction time, preventing you from an unnecessary accident.

Safety First

Though you can’t control other drivers on the road, you can prepare yourself to avoid or be cautious of them. Accidents and breakdowns can happen, so it’s always best to be fully equipped for the unexpected. Still have a spare tire and jack on hand, invest in a road safety kit, and keep a blanket available in case of a breakdown. Most road safety kits will include road flairs too, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with best practices, and when and how to utilize them. If you do have a breakdown on a major highway, always remember to remain in your car.

Though preparation is key, accidents still happen. If an emergency does occur, Dallas Medical Center has the nearest trauma center in the area that is always open.