WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- University and college students are finishing finals and heading home for the holidays. Most of them want to get home to loved ones as quickly as possible, but the American Red Cross urges students to exercise caution while traveling in holiday traffic. With winter approaching, it is important to put safety first and check the weather along the route and plan travel around any impending storms.
"Every student should make it home safely this holiday season," said Russ Paulsen, executive director, Community Preparedness and Resilience Services. "Winter weather and sleep deprivation can make that harder, so students should be sure they don't drive when they're overtired and that one app on their phones is the Red Cross Emergency app , which can alert them to severe storms before it's too late."
DRIVE SAFELY After weeks of studying, students are sleep deprived and may have trouble focusing. The Red Cross recommends that drivers should be well rested, alert, and able to give their full attention to the road. If necessary, students should stay at their school an extra night after finishing exams to catch up on their sleep before beginning the trip home. To help improve alertness, make frequent stops and rotate drivers for longer trips.
Other Red Cross driving tips include:
- Clean headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help see, especially at night.
- Turn headlights on as dusk approaches, or if using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
- Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.
- Inform loved ones of planned travel routes and expected arrival times.
- If the car gets stuck, help can be sent along the predetermined route.
- Don't let the vehicle's gas tank get too low. If there is car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway and get out of the car on the side away from traffic.
- Don't follow other vehicles too closely.
DOWNLOAD THE RED CROSS EMERGENCY APP The Red Cross Emergency app can help keep students safe by providing vital information easily at hand. The app has more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts to help plan a safe route home. You can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
SOURCE American Red Cross