Colonel Ann C. Assumpico also offers important driving safety tips and reminders for people travelling this holiday season

• Check the weather. Before going out for the night or travelling to visit family and friends, check the weather at home and at your destination to learn of potential weather conditions that could impact travel – especially if snow, sleet and freezing rain are in the forecast.

• Allow extra time. With more people on the roads, it will take longer than usual to get to your destination. Map your route in advance and be prepared for heavy traffic along the way. If possible, try to avoid travel during peak driving periods.

• Bring your cell phone. Make sure to charge your cell phone in advance of a trip and bring a car charger so you can call for help in the event of an emergency.

• Buckle up. Make sure you and your passengers are properly secured with seat belts, booster seats or child car safety seats.

• Drive carefully. Slow down, don’t use your cell phone and be alert to the cars around you. Use special care when driving in unfamiliar areas. Avoid sudden starts, stops and lane maneuvering that could result in a crash.

• Take a break. Drowsy drivers can be as dangerous as drunk drivers. Stop every two hours or every 100 miles to rest before resuming your drive.

• Secure valuables. Keep holiday gifts, electronics and other valuables in the trunk or covered inside the car. Also remember to lock the doors of your vehicle, whether stopping for a few minutes or leaving a car parked for an extended period.

• Don’t drink and drive. Arrange for a designated driver or alternative transportation if you’re planning to drink at a holiday party or family gathering.