DSP holiday travel tips

The Delaware State Police this week offered a number of safety tips for those traveling and shopping this holiday season.

Delaware State Police this week wished everyone a happy holiday as family and friends gather to enjoy Thanksgiving festivities. But they also offered some tips for ensuring a safe holiday.

“As we take time this holiday to celebrate, we must not forget the dangers that can arise from traveling on our roadways. Troopers will be patrolling the roadways this holiday to ensure everyone will arrive at their destination safely.”

In addition, throughout the state, Delaware State Police will be focusing on safety and enforcement, which includes enforcement of laws against distracted driving, motorists not wearing seatbelts, unrestrained children in vehicles, aggressive driving and especially driving under the influence.

The DSP urged drivers to:

  • 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 the keys. Anyone who is impaired should use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so they are sure to get home safely.
  • Anyone who sees a drunk or aggressive driver on the road should immediately contact 911 as soon as safely possible.
  • Anyone who knows someone who is about to drive while impaired should take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

Delaware State Police also like to remind motorists of a number of safety tips:

  • 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.

The DSP also offered a few safety tips to keep people safe.

While traveling:

  • Do not leave your vehicle running and unattended.
  • 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 cell phones 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, lock it 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 go and ask for help in case your child 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.

Some added crime prevention tips while away from home:

  • Remember to place mail, packages and newspaper deliveries on hold. Criminals notice when the mail piles up or newspapers are scattered on the lawn. Criminals 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. Ensure your personal contact information is also up-to-date, to ensure your alarm monitoring company has the ability to reach you.
  • Have a close 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 that 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.