This Thanksgiving weekend, most of us will be spending some time behind the wheel. Whether you are on your way to a relative’s home for dinner or driving to secure a spot in line at your favorite store’s Black Friday sale, there will be real risks and dangers on the road this holiday weekend. Before you drive, take some time to review these five Thanksgiving driving safety tips.
1. Give Yourself Extra Time
Lots of extra people will be on the roads this Thanksgiving weekend. That means possible congestion or traffic jams. If you have a long drive ahead of you, allow yourself time for bathroom breaks and for sitting in traffic or waiting in line at tolls. Even if you are only planning a short trip, remember that it will probably take longer than normal to reach your destination, especially if the weather gets bad.
Plan accordingly and give yourself extra time. If you do get behind schedule because to heavy traffic or bad weather, resist the urge to speed or weave through traffic as this will dramatically increase your chances of being in an accident. Your family and friends value your safety and will understand if you are late.
2. Focus on the Road
This weekend more than ever, it is important that you do not multitask while driving. Do not use your cell phone to tie up last minute details and avoid eating while driving.
Focus on being a defensive driver, which means looking out for others who are distracted or overly aggressive. Be prepared for other drivers to cut you off or engage in other road rage behaviors. For your safety, remain calm and do not sink to their level.
3. Provide Entertainment for Young Children
If children will be riding in your car, make sure to provide them with entertaining activities such as reading materials, held-held gaming devices (with fully-charged batteries), or ideas for car games like Highway Bingo. Bored children are more likely to fight or move around the car, taking your attention off the road.
4. Prepare for Emergencies
It is entirely possible that your car could break down, leaving you stranded on the side of the road. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and pack the trunk of your car with a fully stocked emergency kit.
Remember to pack extra blankets, coats and gloves, flashlights, and snow boots. (After all, you do not want to walk to the nearest gas station in your fancy dinner shoes). If you have a roadside assistance service, keep the company’s number in an easy-to-remember place.
5. Appoint a Designated Driver
Many family dinners involving drinking. If you will be drinking, plan ahead and make sure each vehicle has a designated driver. If necessary, use a guest room or the couch to sleep until it is safe to drive. And of course, while driving be on the lookout for other vehicles that may have drunk drivers.
For more ways to stay safe on the road, be sure to check out our blog. And if you were injured in a car accident, call 516-874-4362 for help filing a claim against the at -fault driver.