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Staying safe while travelling during those cold winter months by Tina Y. Gerber

Winter is one of the most special times of the year, regardless of your age. The snow glistening in the early morning, picturesque snowfalls, and the squeals of delighted children. I love the sounds and sights heard with the arrival of Christmas, over this holiday season.

The holidays can also be a stressful and busy time to travel. Winter also brings many things like frigid weather, slippery sidewalks, and nerve-wracking dangerous road conditions, especially when the temperatures drop into the negatives. There can be a lot to think about when it comes to winter travelling, and being prepared is the key.

Winter storms can force seniors to stay inside for days at a time, as chilly weather can exacerbate existing conditions. This can be particularly difficult for those whose extremities feel the cold due to poor circulation. Senior’s hands and feet need a thick pair of mittens and some thermal socks which can provide a bit of extra warmth. To keep your loved ones safe and warm, make sure they are equipped to handle whatever weather conditions may arise, whether driving or flying.

It is important to check the weather report before travelling, keep yourself updated regarding forecasts, to avoid a nasty snowstorm or avoid those cold, blistering winds we have here in Canada.

Winterize your vehicle and get a routine inspection. Checking the basics, like tires, windshield wipers, washer fluid, and your car’s alignment will help with a smoother and safer ride. Keep your gas tank topped up; carry a cell phone with a charger and car adapter; have an emergency travel kit with blankets; including a first aid kit, warm clothes, candles, matches, snow brush and a collapsible snow shovel.

When actually travelling, map out your route and inform a family member or loved one when leaving. Depending on the road conditions, slow down, to make your following distance safer if the vehicle in front of you starts to fishtail, slip and slide. It is also important your vision is not obstructed! If an accident happens, or you become stuck, stay in your car until help arrives.

Don’t allow your holiday plans to override your common sense, if staying at home is the safest decision, due to nasty weather, so be it. Remember, with a little bit of planning, beforehand, you can be more secure while travelling during the winter snow season. Get plenty of rest before you head on your trip, and don’t be afraid to pull over if you find yourself nodding off. Getting to your destination late is better than never arriving!

I pray, wherever you spend your holidays, it’s warm and safe, which makes travelling a much more enjoyable experience. May your holidays sparkle with moments of love, laughter and goodwill. I pray 2022 be a year full of contentment and joy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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