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5 travel tips to help keep you safe on game days

Mazda's High Beam Control System lets the headlights automatically adjust themselves if they detect a car in the opposite direction, and then increase again when the traffic passes.  (Courtesy Mazda)
Mazda's High Beam Control System lets the headlights automatically adjust themselves if they detect a car in the opposite direction, and then increase again when the traffic passes. (Courtesy Mazda)

There’s nothing like a Gonzaga University home game!

Whether you are a longtime Kennel Club member or even a temporary Bulldog booster for a few hours, there’s no end to the amount of fun you can have in and around GU.

But getting there and back home safely are also important. Though Gonzaga is right in the heart of downtown Spokane, weather and road conditions can make things tricky, especially if a game goes long.

To make sure Gonzaga hoops fans stay safe coming and going this season, try these tips.

• Follow the rules. Like them or hate them, everyone still has to obey traffic laws. That means staying at or under posted speed limits and not getting behind the wheel if you’re under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or any other substance that can impair driving. If you prefer to partake, have a designated driver or stay overnight in a local hotel or motel. Remaining safe definitely beats trying to find the courthouse later.

• Stay off the phone. Washington’s new distracted driving law went into effect in summer 2017, which means you’ll face a hefty fine – and maybe even get busted for secondary activities like eating or drinking – if you’re spotted talking or texting at the wheel. A hand’s free system tied into your dashboard system can help keep the conversation going – or let your passengers talk while you keep your eyes on the road.

• Be ready for sudden weather changes. Winter in the Inland Northwest could mean the potential for a lovely morning and then rain or even snow in the evening, or vice versa. Your Bulldog T may be fine to wear in the stadium but make sure you pack sweatshirts, jackets, blankets or other near-winter weather supplies or turn up the heat.

• Make sure your car is ready. While there aren’t any mountain passes to traverse, unless you’re coming from Seattle or Montana, you should still make sure your ride has good tire pressure and tread, plus a full gas tank. You’ll experience hills, curves, and, if you time it wrong, stop-and-go traffic coming in and out of the city.

• Is it time for a new car? A new sports season and a new year can be a perfect opportunity for you to travel in style through town and maybe consider taking a road trip for a road game or two. Shop for something roomy to bring along your buds and an ice chest, plus something with the latest safety features, including Mazda’s CX-5 or CX-9. These models include Adaptive LED Headlights, which increase visibility at night at slow and at high speeds, and are able to automatically adjust brightness if other cars are sensed. Another must-have is Lane Departure Warnings, which alert you if you’re about to drift from your lane.

For more information about these models and other features to make your driving adventures memorable and safe, no matter the destination, visit Foothills Mazda

 

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