Official Suggests Safe Travel Tips

Contact: Amy Gilliam

 

""

When traveling out of the state or especially out of the country by air, it’s a good idea to check the laws of your destination spot to make sure everything you plan to take along is legal to possess at your destination and the stops along the way.

""

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 17, 2004) -- It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holidays bring special gatherings and parties. Many people will travel great distances to see family, friends and loved ones.

But traveling during the winter months also can be potentially dangerous, so a top UK safety official says it’s important to remember there are many precautions travelers can take to ensure the best – and safest – trip possible.

Robert McCool, project manager of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Kentucky, advises people to start a trip the right way by taking the car to a mechanic for an inspection to confirm that everything is functioning properly. The inspection should include checking air pressure in the tires.

Next, McCool says families should put together a checklist to ensure that they have everything they need, including:

  • Making sure you have directions and a map.
  • Watch the weather a few days prior to leaving, and make proper adjustments to the route to avoid a potential delay.
  • Stay well rested. “Driving while sleepy can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated,” McCool says.
  • Only using cell phones for emergencies while driving. Be prepared that the phone may not work in some places, so don’t rely on them to summon emergency assistance quickly.
  • Stock your vehicle with emergency and comfort supplies, like blankets. “Items such as a first aid kit or a nonperishable snack may be necessary should there be a traffic accident or if the vehicle breaks down,” he cautions.
  • If problems do arise on the road – such as a car breaking down – McCool says it’s important for motorists to get off the roadway if possible. Bring along a battery-powered emergency light that can be attached to the top of the vehicle with a magnet so that emergency flashers, which can drain the car battery, don’t have to used for a long period of time.
  • In the event of an emergency, raise the hood and notify police.

TRAVELING BY AIR

When traveling out of the state or especially out of the country by air, it’s a good idea to check the laws of your destination spot to make sure everything you plan to take along is legal to possess at your destination and the stops along the way.

Also, check the airline regulations and Department of Homeland Security regulations carefully if you plan to fly. This will help ensure any items carried on or checked in your baggage are both legal and permitted on the aircraft.

McCool suggests not wrapping your holiday presents if you plan to fly.

“Presents which are wrapped may be opened by security screeners,” McCool says. “Instead, pack wrapping materials in your checked baggage, or purchase them at your destination and wrap your gifts there.”

REMEMBER YOUR HEALTH

Regardless of the way you travel, if medication is taken regularly, it’s important to take more with you than what might seem necessary, McCool says. “Should you find yourself delayed somewhere, it may not be easy to obtain more medication.”

McCool suggests that if you are traveling by air, it is best to carry medications in a carry-on bag. Checked luggage may become lost, stolen or delayed.

Also, carry the name and contact information of a primary care physician. In an emergency, it can help health care providers who may need to contact your primary care physician. Finally, McCool suggests leaving an itinerary and contact information with a friend or relative. Make sure this person knows where you will be should someone need to contact you during an emergency.


Back to Campus News Homepage