Because many people choose to visit friends and family during the holidays, there are more people on the road and more chances for a motor vehicle accident. Thanksgiving ranks among one of the most dangerous holidays for driving, alongside Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
If you plan on traveling by road for Thanksgiving, there are steps you can take to help reduce your risk of an accident.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Many people choose to consume alcohol along with their Thanksgiving dinner. However, you should never get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. Not only do you run the risk of being stopped and arrested for DUI, but you also place yourself, the occupants of your vehicle, and others on the road at risk of a serious accident. Either avoid alcohol altogether, have a designated driver, stay the night, or call a rideshare service to drive you back to your destination.
Avoid Driving When Drowsy or Fatigued
Lots of people drive several hours to attend a Thanksgiving dinner, before having a long afternoon and evening and heading back home late at night. As a result, it is easy for someone to get behind the wheel while drowsy or fatigued, which is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Avoid Distractions Behind the Wheel
Driving to a party or dinner for Thanksgiving may prompt you to look at your phone for directions or to contact your hosts about last-minute details. Avoid the temptations of distractions behind the wheel. If you need to check directions or make a call or text, pull off the road where it is safe to do so.
Time Your Trip to Avoid Traffic
Holidays such as Thanksgiving always mean increased traffic. You can avoid heavy traffic and the increased chances of getting into an accident by timing your travel when traffic will be lighter, such as by leaving in the early morning or a day earlier, or heading back home a day or two later.
Plan Ahead of Time
You can also reduce the stress and pressures of travel by planning your trip out ahead of time. This includes planning your departure to account for potential traffic or weather delays, having your directions and alternate routes (if needed) at hand, and making sure that your vehicle is in good working order and prepared for a trip, including a full tank of fuel. If you get stuck in heavy traffic, get lost, or need to find a gas station to fill up, the added stress these pressures can cause might increase the chances that you get into an accident. If your trip will take more than an hour or two, you may also want to consider planning to take a rest break along your route to allow yourself and your passengers to stretch, walk, use the restroom, and get some fresh air — this can help keep you fresh and energized so that you maintain your focus on the road.
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The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.