Santa Ana Police Department Citizen Alert
HOLIDAY TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS
When you travel, plan ahead!
If traveling by vehicle, know where you are going and how to get there and back. Obtain a map or download the latest available GPS data. Check for construction detours; for longer trips, get a weather forecast.
If traveling out-of-state, most states and/or state law enforcement agencies provide road-and-highway information either on-line or at a 1-800 number; check to see what conditions they report before leaving.
Inform a family member where you will be and when to expect you back; give them your route if they don’t know it.
Travel and conduct your business during daylight hours if possible.
To the extent practical, select well-traveled and lighted thoroughfares. Bear in mind that routes which are congested during rush hour may be very lightly traveled at other hours. Use freeways and arterial streets and avoid less-traveled roads as much as possible, especially when driving at night or in unfamiliar locations.
If you have access to a cellular telephone, carry or take it (but don’t use it while driving; this is now unlawful in many states).
When driving, keep doors locked and windows rolled up at all times. Maintain at least half a tank of fuel, and keep vehicle in good repair.
Consider keeping spare fuses and a “breakdown kit” in your vehicle at all times. Breakdown kits may be purchased from a variety of sources, or you can assemble your own at any auto parts or hardware store using a commercial version as a guideline.
Minimally, a “breakdown kit” should include:
- a thermal blanket/bag and a gallon of water
- a “HELP” sign/flag and flares/reflectors
- a flashlight (check batteries semi-annually)
- duct tape
Also consider carrying:
- a set of jumper cables, a tire gauge, and work gloves
- a few hand tools (pliers, screwdrivers, Allen wrenches)
- some rope and at least one bungee cord
- towels and a roll of toilet paper (in a plastic bag)
- a small 12-volt tire-inflator
- an empty (new, never used) one-gallon gas can
- change for a payphone and a pair of comfortable shoes
- a cheap/disposable rain coat/suit/poncho
All these items can fit in a small or medium size gym/duffle bag or a box and kept in your vehicle’s trunk, back-seat floorboard, or other storage area in the vehicle. Keep it updated, but never remove it from your vehicle. In addition to your basic “breakdown kit” you should also have a basic first aid kit in your vehicle at all times.
If planning a “road trip” over the holidays, have your vehicle serviced and checked out sufficiently far ahead to allow for repairs if needed. Don’t forget to have the mechanic check your spare tire and all fluid levels along with the other preventive maintenance procedures.
If you experience a breakdown, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible and turn your emergency flashers on. If you have a cellular phone, summon assistance from a reputable source or call for law enforcement response. Otherwise, raise your hood or tie a streamer to your antenna, and await assistance inside your locked vehicle.