The Times Journal & Russell County News
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Holiday safe cruisin' tips
In Dec. 13 Issue
Russell County News
By Ron Cowell, Columnist

The Holidays are here and for many of us we will be heading to the highways to visit with family and friends. Also we will be attending several Christmas parties, the club party, office party etc. It's a time of year for fun and to spend time with family and friends. This year we need to try to make it an accident free holiday season. Here are a few pointers to remind us all about our driving habits over the next few weeks to keep this a safe Holiday Season.

If you are planning on a long trip over the holidays have your vehicle checked. Many garages do vehicle checks or have your mechanic give it the once over.

Check the tread on the tires and the tire pressure. Be sure to check the lights, brakes, cooling systems and other components. Over the Christmas travel time you will no doubt be hauling packages and gifts.

Make sure everything is securely stowed when you pack your vehicle. Even a very small object can become dangerous missiles in the event of a crash or sudden stop.

Long trips can be very tiring and driver fatigue is a serious problem which contributed to several fatal crashes last year. Get plenty of sleep before you head out on your journey and travel during the time of day you are usually awake. Take your time and plan plenty of rest stops every couple hours. When you stop, get out of your vehicle and take a little walk and stretch or do a few little exercises to get your blood flowing and improve alertness. If possible share the driving, alternating during the trip.

Don't have your car to warm inside. Keep it comfortable but not hot. A warm vehicle can make it even worse when you are sleepy. If it gets to warm turn down the heat, open the window. One I like is the family sing along. Get everyone in the car to sing out some Christmas songs or what ever everyone knows. Avoid frustration and stress, this also can be a major cause of fatigue.

Be courteous when driving, let others merge into traffic and use your turn signals when turning or changing lanes. On highways always keep to the right unless passing. Be patient, don't get provoked by another driver's aggressive behavior. Watch out for children on the road, cyclists, motorcycles, they can be very unpredictable and a poor judge of a vehicles speed.

Very important, and it's the law, buckle up and make sure you use that child restraint seat with your kids in the car. To many holidays are marred by tragedy when a crash occurs and people are not properly restrained. It's the driver's responsibility to make sure all the passengers are buckled up and wearing their seat belts. Once again don't forget, the law requires children to be restrained in an approved child seat suitable to the child's size and weight.

Always keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This will give you ample time to stop should the vehicle in front of you have to stop quickly. Allow yourself enough time to get where you are going without rushing. Be patient. Make sure you have enough road ahead of you to pass another vehicle safely. After passing a larger vehicle don't cut back in to close to the vehicle and don't slow down. Remember a larger vehicle has more weight and takes a longer distance to stop if need be.

A couple of other very important things are do not tailgate. In this area it seems some people like to ride the rear bumper of another car. Give yourself enough room in case that vehicle has to stop.

And Cell Phones have become a great help to all of us but NOT WHILE WE ARE DIVING ! How many times have you seen a car going down the road and the person driving is on the phone or even worse than that they are sending text messages. This is very dangerous. In some states it is illegal to operate your cell phone and drive at the same time. I look for that to become law here in Kentucky soon.

Let's make Russell County fatality free over this holiday season. Let's all take time to be safe. It doesn't matter if you are going 2 miles or a long trip, keep safety in mind and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,,

If your Car Club is having an event and you would like us to tell everyone about or someone who you would like to see featured in this article send all information to, . All information on upcoming events needs to be in at least two weeks before the event.

If your Club or church or group is having an event and you would like to display some classic cars at that event let me know at least two weeks before the event. I will put you in contact with one of the clubs that will gladly bring their cars out for display.

Until next time… Keep Cruisin !

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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