Each year, millions of people travel by car to get to their Thanksgiving destination. More people on the roads means a greater potential for car accidents.
Fortunately, following some simple tips can help you minimize the potential of being involved in an accident during your holiday travels.
Maintain Your Vehicle
There never is a good time to drive a vehicle that needs maintenance or repairs. Late fall is an especially poor time to choose to drive a vehicle with worn tires, bad brakes, or other mechanical issues.
You should ensure your vehicle is in good condition by inspecting and maintaining the brakes as needed. You also should check the tire tread and replace any worn or damaged tires.
You should ensure the lights are working so that others can see you and so that you can see the road. Any burned-out bulbs or damaged headlights, taillights, or brake lights should be fixed before you head to your Thanksgiving destination.
Replace the wiper blades if they are worn out, and top off the washer fluid so that you can keep the windows clean while you are driving.
Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time
If you intend to drive more than an hour to your destination, you should plan ahead. Choosing a less-traveled route could help you avoid heavy traffic. You should pick a route that will enable you to stop and take a break at least every two hours.
You should also expect that the drive will take longer than normal. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, most trips could take about twice as long over the holiday period due to heavier traffic. If you intend to drive to a more densely populated area, the drive could take three times longer.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents and driving fatalities. Cellphones are the main cause of distracted driving accidents, so do not text or talk on the phone while you are driving.
You might travel with others or even a family pet. The more people that you have in your vehicle, the more likely someone will be distracting. The audio system should stay at a reasonable volume so that you can concentrate on traffic. If anyone is getting loud, you should tell that person to settle down or possibly take a break at the nearest rest area, gas station, or store.
A passenger can assist with taking any text messages or phone calls. A passenger could also handle some of the driving responsibilities if you are feeling drowsy or losing focus.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Seat belts greatly reduce the potential for suffering an injury in an accident. Passengers in the front seat are 10 times less likely to die in a collision when they are buckled up. You should do your best to wear your seat belt, and make sure passengers do as well.
Additionally, small children should sit in a child safety seat. Many people improperly place child safety seats in their vehicles, so you should follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions to make sure it is correct. You also should strap in each child as the manual indicates for maximum protection and safety.
Be Mindful of Dangerous Weather Conditions
Snow, rain, and fog commonly occur in late fall. If the weather is cold and wet, you should be especially careful when driving over bridges and overpasses. The lack of warmth below them and wind cause bridges and overpasses to freeze over faster than other sections of the road.
You should maintain a safe speed, and keep a close eye out for signs of ice when driving over bridges and overpasses. The ice might not be visible, and even a small amount might cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Do Not Drink and Drive
The night before Thanksgiving is the busiest bar night of the year. Many people meet up with friends and family that they have not seen in months or possibly years. You also might go to the bar on Thanksgiving Eve. If so, you should do your best to avoid drinking and driving.
A designated driver is the best solution. You can also use a ridesharing service or public transportation if you have been drinking. If you are visiting someone, you could also spend the night at their house.
Loveland Car Accident Lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Can Help You After a Thanksgiving Car Accident
Remember to take extra precautions while traveling for Thanksgiving. If you become injured in a crash, one of our Loveland car accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office can help you. Call us at 513-488-1135 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we represent clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.