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.
525
views

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

Popular Right Now

I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
183504
views

After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

As An Original Northeasterner, I Grew To Love The South And You Can, Too

Where the tea is sweet, and the accents are sweeter.

203
views

I'm not Southern-born. I'll come right out and say it. I was born in Connecticut and moved to Atlanta when I was 9 years old. I didn't know a single thing about the South, so I came without any expectations. When I got here, I remember that the very first thing I saw was a Waffle House. I thought it was so rare to see whatever a waffle house was but little did I know there was a WaHo (how southerners refer to Waffle House) every two miles down the street.

There is such a thing as "southern hospitality," and it's very pleasant for a newcomer to see. Southerners are raised with such a refreshing sense of politeness, and their accents are beautifully unique. It brings a smile to my face when I hear a southern accent because it's such a strong accent and one of my favorites. They answer your questions with "Yes, ma'am" or "No, ma'am" in the most respectful tone. I remember feeling so grown and empowered just because I got called ma'am. Southerners' vocabulary and phrases really have its ways of integrating into your own vernacular.

Before I came to Georgia, I never really said words like "Y'all" and "Fixin' to" but it's definitely in much of what I say now. I can tell when I go back up north to visit family that some of what I say may sound a little off because the dialect is very different. I find no shame in it, though, and neither should any southerner.

The weather in the South isn't so bad, in my opinion. Sure, there is very high humidity, but after living here for 10+ years, you learn how to deal with it. However, there's nothing like the summer thunderstorms. I love stormy, rainy weather and it rains quite often in the south, so when my birthday in July rolls around, I look forward to seeing that rain. It's the most peaceful weather to me and inspires me to write even more.

I could go on and on about the amazing fried foods here or the iconic yet insane Atlanta traffic, but those aren't what make me love the South. The people of the south are so different from up north but in the best ways. Everyone is so expressive and creative, as well as their own unique self. Southerners aren't the shaming kinds of people, but instead the kind who embrace who you are from the start. There's a fierce loyalty and a strong sense of appreciation that is just unmatched by any other place. No matter where I go, I always find comfort in knowing that I'll be coming back to this place I'm proud to call home.

Related Content

Facebook Comments