How Can I Drive Safely on Thanksgiving Weekend?
November 24, 2021
Thanksgiving is one of the nation’s most beloved holidays. It is a time when many of us look forward to spending time with family and friends, sometimes traveling extensively to do so. In fact, an estimated 46 million Americans will travel over 50 miles to celebrate Thanksgiving. Furthermore, roughly 90 percent of those travelers will be going by car.
With the increase of traffic and lengthier time on the road, it is no wonder that on Thanksgiving weekend, the chances of getting into a car accident are extremely high. To make sure you and your family get to your destination safely, here are a few safety tips for driving on this Thanksgiving holiday.
Some Tips for Safe Travel on Thanksgiving Weekend
Do a car check. It is always a good idea to have your car checked out and any maintenance performed before the weather gets too cold. Cold temperatures can reduce your car battery’s efficiency drastically, as well as drop tire pressures and fluid levels. Have your tires and brakes checked by a certified technician, and be sure to change your oil if needed, wiper blades replaced, and exterior lights checked as well.
Plan to leave early. The days leading up to Thanksgiving are some of the busiest travel days of the year, so plan to leave early if possible, to avoid the heaviest traffic. Sunday or Monday before Thanksgiving is better to leave, preferably not around 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. In fact, leaving before 7:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m. guarantees the least amount of traffic, but be sure to get plenty of sleep beforehand.
Check the weather. Cooler temperatures mean slicker roads and unpredictable conditions, so be sure to check the weather in the coming days and plan accordingly. Be prepared for snow, black ice, or wet leaves, all issues that can lead to an accident. Always drive cautiously, as severe weather is always a possibility. Combined with longer nights and shorter days, visibility during the fall season may be an issue as well.
Pack wisely. There is never a good time for an emergency, so packing wisely is the best way to prepare for the worst. Always have a roadside kit packed as well as a first aid kit and have items that are useful in case the car breaks down, such as blankets, water, and food. Finally, pack your vehicle tightly as to prevent anything from obstructing your view or blind spots such as loose luggage.
Buckle up. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is buckled up properly before setting off, and to keep the seat belts on when the car is moving. It is no secret that a seat belt can save your life in an accident; a recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that seat belts saved roughly 15,000 lives each year.
Limit distractions. Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States, and it is easy to get distracted during a Thanksgiving road trip. With a packed car of bags and children, along with phones and tablets, it may be difficult to keep your focus.
To limit distractions, have your passengers take the brunt of tasks you yourself would try to do, including managing the GPS or radio and even opening a snack. Make sure everyone has their phones on silent and headphones are being used for tablets. Save any texting or phone calls for when you are taking a break or pull off to the side of the road before answering any messages.
Rest up. Drowsy driving is another top cause of car accidents. Be mindful of getting plenty of rest the days leading up to traveling, especially if you plan on driving a long distance. It is important to recognize drowsiness as well; signs such as frequent blinking or yawning or trouble remembering the past mile are all indicators of drowsiness, and you should pull over immediately.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Help Those Injured During the Thanksgiving Weekend
Thanksgiving is the time of year enjoyed by many Americans, but the enormous number of travelers associated with the holiday could spell disaster if you are not careful. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident this holiday weekend, reach out to the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Our experienced team will go over every detail of your case and help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us today at 215-569-9100 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.