Thanksgiving Travel SafetyNovember 16, 2018
With the holidays around the corner, many of us will be heading out to visit family and friends, shop for holiday items, and attend other festivities. The truth is, this time of year puts a lot of travelers on unfamiliar roads. In fact, the American Safety Council reports that on Thanksgiving weekend alone, over 40 million drivers flood the roads and highways of the nation.
We love Thanksgiving for the warmth and gratitude it brings, and the opportunity it provides to spend time with those we care about. Whether planning a short trip or spending long hours in the car, keep your family and others on the road safe this year by staying vigilant with a few simple safety tips.
For those that have a long drive to get to their Thanksgiving destination, planning can make the ride more comfortable and decrease the chance of breakdowns and accidents. Before you get on the road, review the following checklist:
- Maintain your vehicle: Check tire pressure, brakes, wipers, and fluids.
- Choose an alternate travel day: Avoid heavy traffic by planning travel for the days before and after Thanksgiving.
- Leave early: Expect traffic and avoid a stressful drive by leaving an hour earlier.
- Pack the car safely: Make sure luggage, food items, and any other cargo is secure.
- Watch the weather report: Avoid driving in inclement weather.
- Prepare a safety kit: Include first aid items, basic tools, jumper cables, flashlights, and vehicle cell-phone chargers.
- Pack snacks, water, and toys: Keep children and pets entertained and comfortable on long rides.
On the Road
Once on the road, there are several things drivers can do to further decrease the risk of a car accident. The first is to drive courteously and avoid aggressive drivers. Courteous driving is patient driving, and this means allowing other cars to pass, using turn signals and high beams responsibly, and traveling a proper distance from the leading vehicle.
However, courteous driving does not always shield us from another driver’s aggression. When traveling on Thanksgiving weekend, ignore aggressive driving behaviors and avoid eye contact with an angry driver. If the situation seems to escalate, have a passenger call 911. Road rage is considered a criminal act.
Additional tips to keep families safe and Thanksgiving travel running smoothly include:
- Turning cell phones off: Texts, calls, and checking emails is a form of distracted driving, which causes accidents.
- Keep children properly seated: Unexpected braking can happen at any time.
- Wear seat belts: Seat belts save lives.
- Use a real-time tracking GPS device: This can warn the driver and provide safer, alternate routes should an accident or major traffic jam occur.
- Adjust driving speed in inclement weather: Rain and wet leaves can cause conditions as slick as ice.
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If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our attorneys will hold accountable those responsible for your injuries and will fight to obtain the compensation you may be entitled. Call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.
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