To make sure your turn signals and your brake lights are in working order have someone stand in the back of your car. Turn your lights and blinkers on so your assistant can see that they are operating as they should.
If the bulbs are not working as they should you can replace any that have burned out or are fading. Check your headlights too, both the low beams and the high beams. You want to make sure other vehicles on the road can see you coming. It is always handy to keep some fuses in your glove compartment. You never know when you may need one.
When your traveling for the holidays it is important to make sure your tires are in good condition. Check your tires for wear patterns and tread depth. If you see your tires are wearing unevenly you can rotate them, which means switching the back tires to the front and the front tires to the back of the car. If you see wear patterns you may also need to get your car aligned.
Since winter holiday travel can mean driving in bad weather you should make sure to put together an emergency kit. Things to include in your kit are: flashlight with fresh batteries, flares, food, water, a first aid kit, blankets, a car jack, and a gas can.
You also want to make sure you have a spare tire, or a donut tire, and the proper jack and equipment you will need to change a tire.
Today most of us have cell phones and carry them with us at all times. Remember to charge your cell phone or to bring your charger. For road travel it is a good idea to have a battery charger that can plug into your cigarette lighter. You don't want to get caught breaking down on the road with a dead cell phone.
If you don't have a cell phone you can purchase one that has prepaid minutes already on it. You won't have to sign a contract for this type of phone and when the minutes run out, you can dispose of the phone or pay to have more minutes put on it.
Always make sure your vehicle has working seatbelts for each passenger. Not all state require drivers and passengers to use seat belts. If your driving through different states during your holiday travel you may want to check the laws of the states you will be driving through. Ignorance of a law will not save you from a ticket if you are stopped.
Accidents can happen even if you have checked and prepared your car for your holiday road trip. If you are involved in an accident your seat belts and/or car seats will help to reduce the chances of your being seriously injured.
Just in case of an accident, put a disposable camera in your glove compartment. If you need to you will be able to take pictures of the accident scene for your insurance company. Be sure to carry your registration and insurance papers in the glove box as well.
A pen and some paper can be of help if you need to exchange insurance and license information with someone. You will also be able to write down the details of the accident so you don't forget any details.
If you are going to be one of the thousands of people traveling the roads for the holidays in your own car, rather than a rental vehicle, make sure you have done all you can to prepare your car for the trip. Car maintenance and repair will help to insure your holiday trip is a happy and successful journey.