State police share holiday travel tips

DOVER — The Delaware State Police have issued safety tips for driving during the Thanksgiving holiday, noting a focus on safety and enforcement of distracted driving, motorists not wearing seat belts, unrestrained children in vehicles, aggressive driving and, especially, driving under the influence.

By following these easy steps, DSP said, a driver can enjoy safe holiday travel without jeopardizing their life or the lives of others on the road:
• Ensure all occupants are properly restrained.
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys. If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation, so you are sure to get home safely.
• If you see a drunk or aggressive driver on the road, contact 911 as soon as safely possible.
• If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Safety reminders for motorists
• Plan your trip before you embark on your journey.
• Have your car checked by a mechanic. Make sure all fluid levels are checked and your vehicle is in top running condition.
• Take a break every two hours on long trips and take turns driving. Studies have shown that weary drivers are just as much a threat as drunk drivers are on our highways.
• Don’t let your children go to a rest stop alone. When taking a break, always accompany your children to the rest area facilities.

Tips while traveling
• Be aware of the current road conditions.
• Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas.
• Keep your car’s doors locked at all times.
• Don’t use cellphones or other electronic devices while driving.
• Don’t place your baggage or other valuables in a place where criminals can easily see them.
• Park as close as you can to your destination and always remember to turn off your car and lock and remove your keys when exiting.
• When approaching or leaving your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings and never carry a large amount of cash or valuables.
• Do not approach your car alone if there are suspicious people in the area.
• Don’t drink and drive and don’t ride with anyone who has been drinking.

While at your destination
• Be aware of your surroundings.
• Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason.
• Be able to describe your exact location in an emergency situation.
• Teach your child to ask for help in case he/she is separated from you.
• Teach children to stay close to you at all times.
• Never allow children to make unaccompanied trips to the restroom.
• Children should never be allowed to go to the car alone or should never be left alone in a car.
• If you’ve had something stolen or have been the victim of a crime, it’s important to report the incident immediately by calling 911.

When traveling away from home
• Remember to place your mail, packages and newspaper on hold. Criminals notice when the mail piles up or newspapers are scattered on the lawn and know this is a good indication that you are out of town.
• Place your lights, televisions and radios on timers. This provides the image that someone is home. Be sure to close all blinds to ensure a potential criminal does not have the ability to peer inside your residence and monitor activity.
• Be sure to lock all doors, windows, garage doors, storage sheds, vehicles and gates prior to leaving your residence.
• Remember to set your security alarm system if you have one. Test your system prior to leaving to ensure it is functioning correctly. Be sure your personal contact information is also up to date, so your alarm monitoring company can reach you.
• Have a trustworthy friend or relative check on your residence while you are away.
• As excited as you may be to update your friends about your travel on social media, you may strongly wish to reconsider. Remember, anyone who is able to access your social media profile will gain insight that you are away. Potential criminals pay attention to these details and could attempt to break into your home.