Millions of Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday. Driving is the transportation of choice for many travelers, resulting in busy roads because everyone is in a hurry. The increase in highway travelers comes with a risk in car accident rates. The busiest travel days are Wednesday and Sunday. AAA reports that they answer calls from thousands of motorists over Thanksgiving weekend, usually for breakdowns, flat tires, and lockouts. The following are tips to ensure you arrive to your location safely and that you have a healthy and happy holiday.
Drivers should check their batteries and tires, as well as wipers and lights before getting on the road. It is also a good idea to bring along an extra key and an emergency kit to keep in your car. An emergency kit should include a flashlight, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, and a tire-repair kit. When driving, especially on unfamiliar highways, make sure you pay attention to where you need to exit and be aware of traffic. Avoid unexpected lane changes and remember that trucks have larger blind spots.
Holiday travel, especially for long distances, may increase the risk of drowsy driving. A good night’s sleep is important before taking a long road trip, especially if you are driving alone. Watch for signs of drowsiness and stop to rest, if possible.
Also be careful to avoid distractions while driving; a second or two of distraction can double your chances of a car accident. If you need to take a call, be sure to pass it to someone else in the vehicle or pull off the side of the road, if necessary. If you are traveling with children, bring along snacks, movies, and electronic devices, all of which help keep driver distraction down by keeping the children busy.
Tell a friend or family member your plans so that someone knows the route you will drive and when you are expected to arrive. Keep an eye on the weather and try to avoid driving during storms. It is best to drive during the day, especially if the weather is expected to be bad. If a storm hits, be sure to remove all snow and ice from your car before driving. If you are driving and it begins to snow or rain, leave extra space between your car and the car in front of you.
It is important not to let stress or emotions influence your driving in risky ways, such as speeding or aggressive behavior. If you are drinking during the holidays, designate a driver, call a cab, or stay over at the place you are visiting. The number of drunk driving car accidents spikes during Thanksgiving weekend. Never drink and drive and always buckle up. Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, our experienced Media car accident lawyers are prepared to help you. At Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C., our attorneys can assist you with obtaining compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call our office at 610-565-3700 to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Media and West Chester, serving clients in Norristown, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.