Seven tips for safe holiday travel

(November 23, 2015) WASHINGTON — The holidays can be both a joyful and stressful time of year. Families are on the go, running errands, going shopping and taking road trips to visit relatives and friends. Safe Kids Worldwide and General Motors, partners in keeping families safe for nearly two decades, offer seven simple tips for holiday travel.

    • Remember to buckle up every ride, every time, whether it's the long trip to visit family or around the block to the mall.

    • Shopping center parking lots are busier during the holidays. Watch out for distracted pedestrians and drivers who may not be paying attention to you, especially when backing out of parking spaces.

    • For parents of teens, remind them to be extra alert during this holiday season, when conditions are more challenging even for experienced drivers.

    • Commit to keeping your electronics out of your hand. No text message or playlist is worth the risk.

    • If you are headed to a party and plan to drink alcohol, designate a driver or use a car service to make sure you get home safely.

    • Expect the unexpected. You never know when you have to stop abruptly, so keep hot foods, large gifts and anything that can become a projectile in the trunk.

    • Remember when traveling in large groups, all vehicle occupants need their own seat belt or car seat, even for short rides.

"We want to remind parents that car seats and seat belts save lives," said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "As we travel in larger groups of family and friends, make sure every passenger has a seat belt or a properly-fitted car seat. It's easy to forget simple steps in our holiday planning, but it only takes a few moments to make sure everyone is safe."

"Customer safety is our main concern, and that's especially true during the holiday travel season," said Jeff Boyer, member of the Safe Kids Worldwide board of directors and vice president of global vehicle safety at General Motors. "We encourage drivers to leave ample time to get to their destinations, always ensure all children and adults in the vehicle are buckled up and never drink and drive."

Safe Kids Buckle Up program is a national initiative established 18 years ago by Safe Kids Worldwide and General Motors to keep children and families safe in and around cars. GM's long term commitment to educating families has helped the child passenger safety program evolve into one of the most comprehensive in the nation, with more than 1.8 million car seats inspected at 93,000 community events.

To ensure your car seat is properly installed, review the car seat safety tips or find a car seat inspection station in your area.