(WETM) – Hitting the road this holiday season? Local officials want to help you make sure your car is safe while your family travels over the holidays.

Steuben County Emergency Services issued a list of tips and reminders to help ensure your vehicle is prepared for the winter driving. The office said that traveling by car during the holidays “the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile.”

Emergency Services said drivers should follow these tips when getting ready to make a holiday road trip:

  • Prepare your car for winter and keep an emergency kit with you
  • Get a good night’s sleep before departing and avoid drowsy driving
  • Leave early, planning ahead for heavy traffic
  • Make sure every person in the vehicle is properly buckled up no matter how long or short the distance traveled
  • Put that cell phone away; many distractions occur while driving, but cell phones are the main culprit
  • Practice defensive driving
  • Designate a sober driver to ensure guests make it home safely after a holiday party; alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription and illegal drugs can cause impairment

And if you’re traveling on a plane, Emergency Services said to be sure to follow all legal and airline-specific rules to make for the safest and most enjoyable trip.