Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year, and often long distances are traveled so families and friends can celebrate this beloved holiday together. Travel over the Thanksgiving holiday usually spans six days, and long distance trips increase by 54 percent compared to the annual average, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. TripAdvisor estimates more people are traveling this Thanksgiving than the previous year. AAA projects more than 46 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving, which is the highest since 2007.
With more people on the road, accidents are bound to happen. That’s why it is imperative we all take measures to drive with extra care. The National Safety Council reports Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for being on the road. Other major holidays included in the report are Christmas, New Year’s, Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July.
While auto accidents are inevitable, there are obvious steps we can take to try and prevent them. To help ensure a safe holiday, pay attention to these five travel tips.
1) Get a tune-up. Check your vehicle’s fluids, tires, battery and brakes. Fill up with gas before you head on your journey. Getting your car maintenanced before a trip, especially a long distance one, is very important for your and your loved one’s safety.
2) Avoid driving at night. Accidents are more likely to occur when it’s dark due to low visibility, so try and plan daytime travel. When it gets dark out or you start to get tired, pull over and check into a hotel. Your family would rather have you arrive to Thanksgiving dinner late than injured.
3) Drive sober. During the holidays, drinking and driving is common, unfortunately. Do not, under any circumstances, drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. On the other hand, be alert. If you see a vehicle swerving, or slowing up and speeding up inconsistently, get out of their way and contact local authorities.
4) Don’t overpack your car. Your vehicle has a weight capacity. Find out what it is and do not overload your car with luggage and passengers.
5) Don’t get distracted. If you are traveling with children or pets, make sure they have something to keep them occupied. It’s very easy to get distracted while driving with other passengers in the vehicle. If you need to make a call or text someone, have someone else in the vehicle do it for you, or pull over.
When traveling, protect yourself and your passengers. As a driver, you have a responsibility. If you or a loved on has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact the VanDeLoo Firm at 972-200-5080 for a free consultation with Plano, Allen, Frisco and McKinney personal injury lawyer, Amy VanDeLoo.