Headed out of town for the holiday weekend? Before you pack the cooler and gas up your car, check out these five tips to maximize fun and minimize headaches on the road:
- Use a navigation app with traffic reports
Many smartphones come with a navigation app, but make sure yours has traffic reports available. Waze, a popular community-based navigation app, crowd sources the information from drivers on the road. The app can be used to easily report everything from traffic jams to car accidents and alerts users ahead of time so they can avoid the backup. Just be sure to stay off your phone while driving and have a passenger navigate the roads.
- Stay safe on the roads
With traffic at its peak, law enforcement will be out in full force patrolling to keep roads safe. We’re all in a hurry to get the weekend started, but avoid speeding and make sure to obey all traffic laws. Be extra cautious when driving in unfamiliar areas and construction zones. In the event that you do receive a ticket, more than a dozen courts across Michigan allow you to have your ticket reviewed for a lesser charge completely online. You can submit your statement just as if you were appearing in court. This is ideal if you’re an out-of-town driver who wants to avoid returning for a court date. Click here to see which courts offer this program.
- Avoid the peak travel times
Everybody wants a long 4th of July weekend, which means many drivers will be hitting the road on Thursday or Friday. Expect peak travel times to be around noon and then again at 4pm as people try to sneak out of the office early. On your trip home, don’t dawdle. While we all want to get the most out of our weekend, traffic will pick up around 6 p.m. The earlier you can get on the road, the better.
- Get Smart with Your Gas
Everyone’s been there: you stop to fill up your tank only to drive a few more miles and find a cheaper price. Luckily, there’s an app for that. GasBuddy uses your location to find gas stations nearest you and allows users to report the most recent prices as they’re filling up. Download it before you hit the road and have your co-pilot gauge the prices.
- Enjoy the fireworks (you could be there for awhile)
With the actual holiday falling on a Monday, there will be fireworks on display the whole weekend. Anticipate the extra gridlock immediately before and after the show. This is especially true in areas with larger celebrations like Detroit and Bay City. Expect to be stationary from 10 p.m. – 12 a.m. as people enjoy the show.