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Driving Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

Published: Nov 23, 2020 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving remains one of the busiest holidays of the year. Many people eat dinner at more than one meal, and spend time with family members, extended loved ones, and friends. This means plenty of drivers get behind the wheel throughout the day and well into the night.

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 55 million motorists were on the highways during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2019. Since many families are traveling, it is important to remain extra vigilant during this time. Not every car accident can be prevented; however, keeping a handful of tips in mind helps lower the chances of getting into any type of accident on Thanksgiving.

Avoid Drinking and Driving

A lot of families serve alcoholic beverages on Thanksgiving. Travelers need to be aware that intoxication can lead to lowered response times when driving. If a driver has had anything to drink, they should relinquish their car keys to someone who has stayed away from alcohol. What if a driver does not have a designated driver? The driver has a few choices. The driver can spend the night at the host’s house or call a rideshare service.

Plan the Route Ahead of Time

Distracted driving frequently leads to car accidents. A good way to avoid getting distracted behind the wheel is to know the route ahead of time. A route can be programmed easily into a navigational device. Directions should be inputted in a navigation system before starting a trip.

Stay Off the Phone

No driver should use a cellphone while operating a vehicle. Another tip to stay safe is to keep a cellphone stowed away. It can be tempting to check texts or email alerts. Yet, taking one’s eyes off the road for just a few seconds can cause an accident. Drivers need to remember that people are going to text a lot on Thanksgiving. Consequently, motorists may want to turn off all notifications or give their cellphones to passengers who can securely check any messages.

Inspect the Car Before Traveling

A driver who expects to travel should inspect their vehicle before the Thanksgiving trip. The examination might include a check of the tire pressure, all lights, oil level, and other fluids. Inspecting a vehicle a few days in advance gives enough time to take the car to a mechanic if it is necessary.

In addition to giving the vehicle a routine visual and physical inspection, motorists should make sure their emergency roadside kits are up to date. New kits are easily available at most automobile retail stores and home improvement places. Having an updated kit is extremely important.

Check the Weather Before Traveling

The weather can be quite changeable heading toward December, especially in Illinois and the surrounding states. Due to this, drivers and families need to frequently check the weather before long road trips. They should also have alternate plans just in case something arises.

What would alternate plans look like? If a motorist has to travel a long distance and there is a snowstorm, staying overnight at a hotel could be a possibility. People who have not left for Thanksgiving may have to stay home and make a meal. Additionally, a virtual chat with family members is an option.

Drivers and Passengers Must Wear Seat Belts

Most drivers use their seat belts, which is important. Nevertheless, some do not use them, and plenty do not insist that passengers in the back seat must wear them. Seat belts should be used by everyone, whether the belts are lap belts, shoulder belts, or a different type of belt.

In addition to wearing seat belts, motorists will want to examine infant car seats and toddler car booster seats. The seats should be properly installed.

Make Sure to Get Plenty of Rest Before a Trip

It can be tempting to stay up late the night before Thanksgiving; however, it is important that drivers get plenty of sleep. When drivers are fatigued, they make more mistakes. So every driver should get enough rest the evening before a long trip.

If it is possible, adults in the car should switch driving responsibilities. For longer trips, they could take turns every hour or so. For shorter ones, an adult can drive to the destination and the other motorist drives back.

Watch Out for Wildlife

During this time, more deer will be on the roadways. Deer tend to be more active right before dawn and dusk, although they can jump into lanes at any time. Hitting a deer can lead to extensive property damage and serious injuries. Although avoiding deer and other animals, like skunks, raccoons, and groundhogs, is not always possible, it should be a primary goal for any motorist.

What Should I Do After a Thanksgiving Day Car Accident?

Car accidents are not always avoidable, including during Thanksgiving travel. Anyone who gets in a crash should immediately follow safety steps by calling emergency services and getting medical treatment. A person who incurs a severe injury may want to speak with a lawyer before filing any insurance claim.

Edwardsville Car Wreck Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Victims Injured in Holiday Car Accidents

Always be cautious while traveling on a long road trip, especially during Thanksgiving week. If you are a car accident victim, one of our Edwardsville car wreck lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can assist you with your case. Contact us online or call us at 618-277-3644 for a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.