How Can Motorists Stay Safe on Thanksgiving?

car accident

Every year, an average of 43 million Americans will take to the road in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday. And with the pandemic, this Thanksgiving will likely see a rise in anxious travelers who are eager to celebrate with family and friends. Unfortunately, the busy roads also increase the chances of getting in a car accident. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drivers.

Even so, driving is still the preferred method of travel during the holidays, more so than flying, busing, or riding the train. This year, help keep yourself and your family safe by following these sensible Thanksgiving driving tips.

Tips for Safe Driving Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Plan ahead. A long trip requires careful planning, so take your time and organize your travel plans as best as possible. This means managing cargo space well so that no luggage or bags are moving about causing a distraction. It is a good idea to also do the following:

  • Fill up. Make sure your gas tank is full and all accessories, such as phones and GPS devices, are charged up and operating properly.
  • Get the vehicle serviced. Have your car checked by a reputable mechanic or technician and have any maintenances performed if due. Have your tires and brakes checked and replaced if necessary. Finally, have your air pressure and fluids topped off and your battery checked.
  • Have an emergency kit. Have an emergency kit prepared just in case there is an issue with your car. Make sure to pack some food and water, a blanket, and a first-aid kit.
  • Check the weather. This time of year, the temperatures begin to drop, which can cause havoc for drivers. Be sure to check the weather report to your destination and plan your route accordingly.

Leave early. It is expected that the busiest travel days will be leading up to Thanksgiving, as people have their vacations planned either the Wednesday or Tuesday beforehand. Experts believe that these will be the busiest days, particularly in the afternoon when everyone starts their trip. To avoid the headaches, try leaving early in the morning before 7:00 a.m. or late at night after 10:00 p.m. If you do have to leave during peak times, either Sunday or Monday may see less congested roads, so try departing then.

However, be well rested and particularly careful if you do plan on leaving early morning or overnight. Some of the more serious accidents happen at these times because the driver was too drowsy or fell asleep at the wheel, so make sure you get plenty of sleep beforehand. Finally, take your time and do not rush; with the amount of traffic on the road, speeding will make it more difficult to drive safely.

Try to eliminate distractions. Limit any distractions as best as possible. This not only includes cell phone use. Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents across the United States. Anything that causes a driver to divert their attention away from the task of driving is a distraction, including eating and drinking, operating the radio, even loud or unruly passengers.

Instead, have your passengers help limit distractions for the driver by managing the GPS, change any climate settings, or handle the radio. All phones should be on silent, and any tablets or media playing should have minimum volume, or the passengers could use headphones.

Buckle up. Make sure everyone buckles up before setting off. It is no secret that seat belts save lives; in fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved almost 15,000 people when they were in a car accident. Furthermore, during Thanksgiving in 2017, about 57 percent of passengers killed in an accident were not wearing a seat belt.

The pandemic is still an issue. It is important to know that every state will have different COVID-19 restrictions in place, so it is best to research your destination before heading out. Also, some states have higher infection rates than others, so it is important to still practice social distancing, if possible; limit the number of stops; and wear a mask when necessary.

Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Those Injured in Accidents During Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving is one of the nation’s most beloved holidays, filled with memorable moments spent with family and friends. But Thanksgiving can also bring congested roadways and frantic drivers trying to get to their destination, leading to an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured by a reckless or negligent driver during the holidays, reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our skilled and experienced team will investigate the cause of the accident and help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.