Tackling Thanksgiving Travel
Thanksgiving Travel: Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year. If you plan to drive, be prepared for delays. Be respectful of other drivers and follow the rules of the road. Many accidents are a result of driver frustration. Here are some safe driving tips to help you arrive safely at your destination this Thanksgiving.
Expect heavy traffic and plan your route accordingly. Leave early to allow extra time for traffic congestion. Stay alert and avoid distractions, especially in high-traffic areas. Check weather forecasts and be prepared for any conditions. Keep a safety kit in your car, including essentials like water, snacks, and a first-aid kit. Remember, patience and planning are key to a stress-free holiday journey. Make frequent stops on long trips to stay refreshed. Lastly, keep your vehicle well-maintained to prevent breakdowns during your travel.
Avoid driving at the most dangerous times.
Many drivers think it is best to begin their trip very early in the morning or late into the night to avoid the traffic. However, this strategy comes with risk. Driving between midnight and 6 a.m. is considered the most dangerous time on the roads.
Do not drive drowsy.
Driving drowsy can produce some of the same side effects as drunk driving. Listen to your body if you are excessively yawning, missing traffic signs and exits or drifting lanes. It is time to pull over and take a break.
Remember proper vehicle maintenance.
Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before hitting the road. Begin the trip with a full gas tank and ensure your windshield wiper fluid is full and your tire pressure is within the appropriate levels. Have your vehicle thoroughly checked for leaks, worn brakes, tires, hoses, etc., before hitting the road.
Never drink and drive.
Even one drink can have an impact on your driving ability, putting you, your passengers, and other people on the road at risk. Buzzed driving is drunk driving. Always designate a sober driver, call a cab, or an Uber. Alcohol impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction times, making it dangerous to be behind the wheel. It’s not worth the risk of causing an accident or getting a DUI. Consider the safety of others and yourself. If in doubt, choose a safe alternative. Responsible driving saves lives, and there are always better options than driving under the influence.
When used properly, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly. Seat belts are your best defense in a crash and are effective in protecting you from serious injuries. They are designed to secure you in the optimal position to benefit from the deployment of airbags. Additionally, wearing a seat belt is not just a personal safety tool but also a legal requirement in many places, emphasizing its importance in overall road safety.
Ensure your child’s car seat is properly installed.
When it comes to child safety seats, the statistics are alarming. Four out of five child safety seats are estimated to be installed incorrectly. If involved in an auto accident, this can result in serious injury or death to your child. Before making the Thanksgiving holiday trip, make sure your child’s car seat is properly installed.
Do not drive distracted.
Texting is not the only driving distraction to avoid while on the road. Other driving distractions include: talking on the phone, watching videos, reading, finding directions, eating and drinking, tending to children in the backseat, adjusting the radio, etc. Any activity that takes your focus off the road for a second is a driving distraction.
Pay attention to your vehicle’s capacity.
Packaging up the family for a long trip makes it easy to overload the vehicle. Check your vehicle’s weight limit, typically printed on the inside of the driver’s side door. Make sure you are not overloading it with passengers or luggage.
Stay tuned to local news for accident reports, road closures, and changing weather conditions, which can all affect the course of your trip.
We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! If you or someone you know sustained an injury during the holiday, contact us at 205-631-4019. We can provide you with a free initial consultation and see if we can help.