The much-anticipated “wonderful time of the year” is finally here! While many of us have been working hard and adjusting our daily routines due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Thanksgiving presents a time where we can get together with our closest friends and family and remember what we are thankful for.
If you’re planning to hit the road to spend the holiday with your family, remember that this season is one of the most traveled times of the year. Data from AAA found that nearly 50 million Americans traveled by car during Thanksgiving in 2019.
Ultimately, more vehicles on the road during this time means more congested roads, delays, and car crashes. While the risks of getting into an accident may be higher during this time period, there are steps you can take to ensure that you and your family get to your destination safely.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Long-Distance Travel
Before heading out on a long-distance trip, always make sure that your car is up for the feat. Not only is breaking down in the middle of the road an annoyance but not having your vehicle function as it should can be a safety hazard.
Keep up with regular maintenance, including having oil changes and fluids checked. Make sure your tires have enough pressure, your windshield wipers are clean, and all your lights and turn signals are functioning properly. If you have time, schedule a service appointment at a mechanic to double-check that everything is in proper working order.
Plan Your Route and Leave Ahead of Time
Drivers who make sudden and unexpected lane changes across multiple lanes of traffic can cause accidents. Before you get on the highway, make sure you have your route planned out. Know how far you will be going before you have to turn or exit and what street or exit number it will be.
If you’re not familiar with the route you’re taking, make sure that you put the address in your GPS before getting on the road at all; this way, you don’t have to worry about it while you’re driving and be distracted. If needed, you can also ask a passenger to help you with the directions.
Slow Down and Leave a Buffer
Road conditions can change in literally the blink of an eye, especially in stop-and-go traffic on congested roads. Always make sure to eliminate distractions and keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on the task of driving. You should always be sure to drive at or below the speed limit and never drive faster than the flow of traffic.
Additionally, make sure that you leave a buffer zone between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This way, you have time and distance to stop in case road conditions change and you need to brake suddenly.
Injured in a Holiday Car Accident?
We understand that even the drivers who take all the right steps when traveling can still become injured in car accidents caused by other motorists. If you or a family member is injured during your holiday travels this Thanksgiving, please don’t hesitate to reach out to The Edwards Law Firm for the caring, dedicated legal representation you need to get through these trying times.