November 2022 - Thanksgiving Travel Safety Tips
Thanksgiving is around the corner, marking the start of the busy holiday travel season. It’s estimated that more than 50% of Americans have plans to travel this Thanksgiving holiday, putting some 50 million people on the road. The more cars on the road, the higher the risk of collisions and road rage incidents.
Car accidents rank third on the list of most common causes of Thanksgiving-related injuries, behind fire-related injuries/grease burns and food poisoning. The increase in car accidents is due, in part, to the number of vehicles on the road, but congestion is only one of the contributing factors. Drowsy and impaired driving play their parts as well.
The Thanksgiving travel time for most people is restricted to the Wednesday before and the Sunday after the holiday. Squeezing a trip into this short window leads to more fatigued drivers. The more tired you are behind the wheel, the less reliable your reflexes.
And for many people, holiday celebrations can involve an alcoholic beverage or two. Statistics show about 35% of Thanksgiving traffic fatalities involve a drunk driver. In fact, your risk of encountering a drunk driver this time of year is 56% higher than normal.
To help keep the roadways safe during the holidays, police departments often set up checkpoints looking for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol and for seat belt violations. You can do your part, too, by following the travel safety tips below:
- Avoid distractions
- Buckle up and slow down
- Check the forecast; prepare for expected weather conditions
- Follow traffic and construction zone rules
- Give yourself extra time in case of traffic or weather delays
- Keep your cell phone charged
- Make sure your car’s maintenance is up to date
- On long trips, stop frequently and/or alternate drivers
- Pack an emergency kit
- Plan an alternate route or use a GPS
If you do encounter car problems along the way, pull as far off the road as is possible. And, of course, don’t drink and drive.
Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.