For many of us, the Thanksgiving holiday means delicious food, football, holiday parades and time with family friends. In addition, it can mean a bit of time behind the wheel heading to our holiday destinations. Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel periods in the US. In 2016, the AAA estimated that nearly 48.7 million people hit the road over the Thanksgiving holiday.
In addition to ushering extra traffic on the roadways, Thanksgiving is also known for dangerous travel conditions. USA Today suggests that the time between Thanksgiving Eve and Black Friday is one of the most deadly driving periods our roadways. With that in mind, here are some tips to keep the upcoming holiday safe and stress free as you head out to your Thanksgiving destinations.
- Check Your Car – Even a short ride can be disastrous if your car is not in proper working order. In addition to topping off the tank, check the air pressure in your tires, oil levels, brake fluid levels and even the wiper fluid, to ensure your vehicle is ready for the journey ahead. It is also important to have the proper safety equipment in your car should the unplanned happen. This might include a first aid kit, phone charger, flashlight, jumper cables, a well maintained spare tire, tools to change a flat and even an extra blanket. Finally, consider bringing a paper map. You never know when you will be without a cell signal.
- Buckle up – According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2015, seat belts saved an estimated 13,941 lives in passenger vehicles. Take the time to buckle up and ensure all your passengers do the same.
- Expect the unexpected – No one plans to get into a car accident or become stranded on the side of the road. Even the most prepared drivers encounter unexpected circumstances. Practice vigilance on the road, keeping in mind that the driver in the lane right next to you could be impaired. In addition, monitor your speed, following distance and the weather conditions to ensure that you are ready for the worst case scenario.
- Monitor your own behavior – If you find the holiday festivities have left you in an impaired state, do not get behind the wheel. Consider staying at your destination a few extra hours, or even the night, before venturing out on the roads, or make alternate driving arrangements. And, if your intended driver does not appear ready for the road do not let them get behind the wheel. The easiest way to stop a drunk driving accident is to not drive drunk.
At McLario, Helm, Bertling & Spiegel, we wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for each of our valued clients.