All Of Your South Carolina Road Trip Essentials — Read Before Starting Your Engines

All Of Your South Carolina Road Trip Essentials — Read Before Starting Your Engines

Learn to protect yourself on your next long drive.
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The summer months and holidays are a great time for family, togetherness, and traveling. The months of November and December specifically see the heaviest traffic of the year, with hundreds of thousands of people crossing state lines and hitting highways to converge for the season.

From 2006 to 2015, 558 people in South Carolina died in traffic accidents on major holidays, according to a recent South Carolina collision study. If your family is going on the road during peak times, like the holiday season in the Palmetto State, you should use these tips to stay safe.

1. Visit your local auto shop

Vehicle readiness is imperative to the safety of your family on a road trip. Take your car in for a tune-up and maintenance check before you embark. Make sure the mechanics check your tire pressure, tire tread, fluid levels, windshield wipers, belts, battery, and air conditioner.

Tell your mechanic where you’ll be traveling – how far, and what the weather will be like. The shop may recommend swapping your oil to one with a lower viscosity to move more easily through your engine in cold winter weather.

2. Keep your car weather ready

It’s important to keep your vehicle ready for any type of weather. In the summer, keep your tires properly inflated, ensure that your car battery is up to par and able to handle extreme temperatures and make sure your air conditioning is in working order.

During the winter months, you can take measures to winterize your vehicle and drive confidently through snow and ice. Refreshing your coolant is important for preventing engine freezes at low temperatures. If you anticipate driving through snow, make sure you have chains or all-weather tires.

3. Avoid the heaviest traffic

It may be impossible to completely avoid traffic during holiday or summertime travel, but you can at least avoid driving through the thick of it with a bit of research. Learn about where you’ll be traveling to, as well as the average traffic conditions on the roads and highways you will take to get there.

Most big cities experience heaviest traffic volumes, with cars and commercial trucks alike, during two “rush hour” peaks each day – 6:30-9:30 a.m. and 4:00-8:00 p.m. Do your best to avoid driving on major throughways, like I-26, during these times of day, or stop to rest during these hours to wait out traffic.

4. Get plenty of sleep

Drowsy driving rates tend to increase during the holiday seasons, as there are more drivers taking on longer than usual hours behind the wheel, or driving at odd times such as trying to make a drive overnight. Before you start your holiday road trip, make sure you (or the driver) get plenty of rest.

If the driver isn’t comfortable with nighttime driving, arrange to stop at a hotel or switch drivers as the sun goes down. Leave the front passenger seat for an awake passenger, only letting people sleep in the backseat. This can help keep the driver awake.

5. Pack an emergency kit


Nothing is scarier than your car breaking down during a South Carolina snowstorm. Always have a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle for holiday trips, just in case. Pack a space blanket, nonperishable food items, bottled water, flashlight, basic vehicle tools, spare tire, battery-powered radio, extra phone charger, bag of sand, shovel, and ice scraper. A good emergency kit can mean all the difference if you and your family get stuck on the side of the road in the snow. Enjoy the holidays in safety this year with these driving tips.

The U.S. roads can be riddled with hazardous elements and/or situations, and these multiply exponentially if you factor in bad weather or increases in vehicles on the roads. One of the best ways to ensure that you and your family is safe on the roads is to plan ahead. If your vehicle is up-to par, and you plan mentally for the journey, you can have a better chance of having a safe trip. So be sure to follow these important safety tips, and have a fun trip!

This article was written in collaboration with the Charleston car accident attorneys at The Hawkins Law Firm located in South Carolina.

Cover Image Credit: Janbaby on Pixabay

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.
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Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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10 Signs You're From New Hampshire, Wickedly So

I'm never cold, apparently.

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I have been told that everyone from New Hampshire is always obsessed with New Hampshire; I can't blame them since is it a wicked cool state. If you or someone you know is from New Hampshire I guarantee these are 10 things they can relate to:

1. You love Aroma Joe's.

Anyone not from the northern New England area probably has no idea what Aroma Joe's is. It's basically the Starbuck of New Hampshire. Known for flavored coffee and energy drinks all Rush. Every other high school student would stroll in late to school with the iconic Aroma Joe's foam cups (which have now been changed to clear plastic to help the environment).

2. The Sheetz and Wawa's debate means nothing to you.

There is a huge debate among select states over which GAS STATION has better food. Yeah, weird right? Of course, we New Hampshire citizens have spent our fair share of time at the Chill Zone at a Cumberland Farms or 7/11 but getting real food from a gas station is a whole other story.

3. You know what fried dough is.

One of the most shocking things I learned while living out of state is that not everyone knows what fried dough is. They have a similar treat called Funnel cake (which I had heard of but never actually ordered somewhere before moving to PA) and I assure you we are not missing out because fried dough definitely takes the win.

4. You pronounce Reese wrong.

In New Hampshire everyone (including myself) pronounces it "Rees-EES," but after highly offending some Hershey, Pennsylvania residents and a heated debate I have finally admitted defeat that the true pronunciation is "Rees-IS." But I will always say "Rees-EES" because to me, that is what it is called.

5. You use the word wicked a lot .

I honestly didn't believe it when people told me the word "wicked" was a New England thing. Majority of people understand the meaning but are just shocked by how frequently I use the word. But in the past, people have actually asked me what it meant!

6. When you say it's winter you actually mean it...

I am talking temperatures in single digits or even the negatives, multiple feet of snow that doesn't melt for months and snow storms that resemble blizzards. I have been to parts of the country where people freak out about two inches of snow that melts within 48 hours and are wearing winter coats when it's in the upper to mid 50 degrees.

7. People assume that you don't get cold.

Don't get me wrong, New Hampshire residents have to go through some tough winters but that doesn't mean we don't get cold! Yes, we need to wear a jacket when it's below freezing too! We are just less bothered by snow.

8. A beach day isn't a big deal.

Some parts of New Hampshire are further from the beach than others but overall the drive shouldn't be that bad. After working full time all summer and only making it to the beach about five, I was shocked when people kept telling me how exciting my summer looked via social media. Then I was reminded that for some people the closest beach is hours away and they are lucky if they make it there once.

9. Everyone assumes you ski or snowboard.

Don't get me wrong, A LOT of New Hampshire residents grew up either snowboarding or skiing, but for those of you who didn't (me), everyone is always shocked.

10. You love your state.

People actually make fun of me for how much state pride I have. I love the beautiful colors in the fall to the mountain views in the north and the ocean sunsets that you can't see anywhere else; no matter where I live no state will match up to how gorgeous New Hampshire is.

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