Anyone who has ever felt the terror of a burst tire at 60 mph knows that safety is a top priority on long road trips. The busy period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day holidays are the busiest for road travel. It’s a time when people visit their relatives and friends all across the country.

While a road accident in summer is not uncommon, it can prove to be dangerous. In winter, icy roads and low temperatures can lead to vehicle malfunctions that can result in fatal accidents.

The experts at the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence have compiled a list with ten tips that will make your holiday season more enjoyable and safer.

* Follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedules.

* Keep a log of all repairs and service.

* Inspect your car periodically for unusual sounds, odors, drips, warning lights, etc.

* Be aware of changes in engine performance and fluid levels and problems in handling, braking, steering or vibrations.

* Be prepared to describe any problems. Be specific about the time and frequency of the problem.

* Carry a written list of the symptoms for the technician or service consultant.

* Don’t suggest a repair; let the technician diagnose and recommend a remedy.

* Don’t be embarrassed to request simple definitions.

* Don’t rush the technician to make an on-the-spot diagnosis. Before work commences, ask to be called so that you are informed about the problem, the solution and the estimated cost.

* Be sure you understand shop policies regarding estimates, guarantees and acceptable methods of payment.

The non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, an independent organization, is committed to improving the quality automotive repair and service through the voluntary certification and testing of technicians.

Visit www.ase.comFind seasonal car care tips and other useful information.