Safe driving tips for holiday travel

Prepare, be vigilant and be courteous on the roads
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 9:54 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Wisconsin State Patrol says it pays to be prepared for traffic during the holiday weekend as driver numbers are expected to be back to pre-pandemic levels.

“You’re just going to have to be patient and be aware that traffic’s going to be heavier this time of year,” says State Patrol Sergeant Matt Strickland. In areas like that, it also pays to minimize distractions. “We need to put our phones down, we need to slow down, and buckle up so we can get to our destination safe,” he says.

Knowing your car is ready for the trip will also give you peace of mind. AAA says the most important preparations are often the easiest. “Typically this time of year, especially with colder weather we get a lot of tire issues, a lot of battery issues,” says AAA Director of Public Affairs Nick Jarmusz.

Ongoing construction can also add to drive time. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recommends a little research so you know what to expect ahead of time.

“When you see orange barrels or cones, we want you to take it slow. Give yourself plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you,” says WisDOT Traffic Systems Engineering Chief David Karnes. He adds, “You can see in real-time what the traffic conditions are like out on the highway. So I encourage the public to visit that site and plan ahead.”

If someone is stopped on the side of the road, whether it’s with an emergency vehicle or not, the safest course of action is to safely move over to the furthest lane possible. “Try to move over, give them space, extend the same kind of courtesy you would want if you were finding yourself in that situation,” Jarmusz says.

A link to road conditions can be found on the NewsChannel 7 website on the weather page.