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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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

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To The City Folk, From The Country Gal Who Knows Everything's Sweeter In The South

How can you walk outside and smell sewers and pollution and say it's a wonderful day?

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Dear City Folk,

We're pretty different, you and I. You say, "You guys," I say, "Y'all." You eat vegan non-fat salads with quinoa (whatever that is)? and I eat fried chicken. You walk out your front door and see skyscrapers, and I see cows... lots and lots of cows. It's black and white, summer and winter.

I'm not going to question why, but how?

How can you walk outside and smell sewers and pollution and say it's a wonderful day. How can you stand on the streets with thousands of other people and not get claustrophobic? How can you pay $20 for a meal that's not even that tasty? Sorry but I just don't understand, and most likely never will.

Everything seems to just be a little bit sweeter in the south. From that sweet Southern hospitality — and yes that includes southern men (wowza) — to the irreplaceable sweet tea that my grandma makes (yum). Therefore, we have a right to take pride in these things that make up our happiness. I'm not saying being a northerner is wrong, or that we're embracing the norm that we project, but growing up on a farm and then moving even farther south to Alabama for school, it never gets old.

So whether or not you enjoy peace and quiet over car horns and elephants over donkeys, I can proudly say that I love my Southern life and y'all don't know what you've been missing. We'll keep smiling from our old ranch style mansions that came straight out of "Gone with the Wind," eating our mouthwatering BBQ, and cheering for our favorite football teams (most likely the Tide) after church on Sundays.

And yes... it's not just a stereotype, that actually happens and we love it. And so, if you're from the city and never get to experience all the wonderful things that I've grown up doing, from bottle feeding a baby calf, to learning every line from every Hank Williams Jr. song... well, bless your heart.

Sincerely,

Just another country gal

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