Thanksgiving is the time to gather with family and old friends and celebrate our blessings. Unfortunately, it is also one of the worst times of year for car accidents because more people are on the road, making driving extra dangerous. AAA estimated that over 54 million Americans will be on the roads over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend this year. By observing the following basic driving safety tips, you can reduce the odds of getting into an accident and ensure you and your family have a safe holiday.
If you are setting off on a long holiday drive, make sure your vehicle is in proper condition. Check the oil and various fluid levels, including the brakes, radiator, and automatic transmission, and make sure the tire pressure is correct.
If young children are coming along, make sure car seats are properly installed. Have snacks, beverages, DVDs, and games to keep youngsters occupied during the trip. If pets are making the trip, keep them secured in a carrier or with a harness. Also make sure you and everyone in your vehicle wears a seat belt. Pack a safety kit that contains a blanket, flashlight, and flares in case of an emergency.
Prepare for Weather Conditions
Keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly. Allow yourself extra travel time in inclement weather, and if weather conditions are truly severe, it is likely a good idea to stay home. Use your GPS to help you avoid congested areas and be sure to mark gas stations and restrooms along the route on maps.
Beware of Drowsy Driving
If you feel yourself getting sleepy or losing focus, pull over and rest. As a rule, it is always a good idea to rest every two hours into the drive. If possible, take the scenic route. It may mean adding extra time to your trip, but back roads are often less congested than major highways. There is another advantage to getting off such highways, and that is eye strain reduction. When your visual field includes trees, fences, and roads with curves, your eyes are less strained than if you are driving for hours in traffic.
Avoid Drinking and Driving
Have a designated driver for Thanksgiving who is not going to consume alcohol. If someone’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels raise above 0.08 percent, which makes a person legally drunk, it is not a good idea to let them get behind the wheel. Around the holidays, the number of car accidents involving drunk or impaired drivers increase.
Refrain from Using Your Cell Phone
Never text while driving, and do not use your cell phone while on the road unless it is hands-free. Driving with such distractions is nearly as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Delaware County Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Victims of All Types of Car Accidents
If you or a loved one were seriously hurt in a car accident any time of the year, you need the services of the experienced Delaware County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Mathews and Auslander, P.C. Call our office today to arrange a free initial consultation at 610-565-3701 or contact us online. With offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.