It’s November, and that means Thanksgiving is just around the corner! If you’re like many Floridians, you’re probably polishing off your travel plans and getting ready to enjoy the long weekend with a vacation or trip to go see family. If you’re one of the millions of people who will be hitting the roads in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, there are some things you should know. Most importantly, you won’t be alone. In fact, Thanksgiving is the single biggest road-traffic holiday of the calendar year in the United States, and the day before Thanksgiving is the single busiest travel day of the entire year, and it’s not even close.
What does this mean for you? In addition to the possibility of some nasty traffic jams while people try to get where they need to go, there’s also a significantly greater risk that you’ll be involved in an accident. And when you think about it, the logic makes sense: with more people out on the roads and more miles that you need to travel, there’s a much greater chance of an accident.
However, nobody wants to be involved in an accident while traveling over Thanksgiving weekend, and that means it’s worth taking the time to do a little bit of extra preparation and follow some important tips to ensure your trip is as safe and uneventful as possible. Here are a few simple yet invaluable tips for safer travels over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Keep Up On Your Car Maintenance
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of an accident is to simply make sure your car is ready to handle the miles ahead. Check your tires and make sure the tread is well within the legal limit (generally 4/32” of an inch is when most people recommend getting your tires replaced). Have your brakes checked and your rotors or pads replaced if either one appears to be low. Make sure your battery is in good health and won’t leave you stranded by dying soon. Have your oil changed, your fluids topped off, and your air filter replaced if it needs it. All of these things not only improve your car’s operation, but make it safer as well. And, as an added benefit, it also could improve your gas mileage and help you save money on the cost of your trip!
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
One of the leading causes of accidents over the Thanksgiving holidays is fatigue. Driving tired can have a similar impairment to your driving as alcohol, and in many cases it can be even more pronounced. Tired driving can have disastrous results, and unfortunately it happens to many people when they’re just setting off due to a poor night’s sleep the night before. When you’re going to be taking off, get to bed early the night before and get a full eight hours of rest in. You’ll be more awake, more alert, and safer as a driver if you do.
Drive in Shifts
If you’re going to be taking an extremely long trip that goes for eight hours or more, you may want to consider driving in shifts with fellow passengers. By taking turns, everyone who’s taking part of the driving responsibilities can have time to rest and recharge, which allows them to refocus their attention and get back to being alert and safe behind the wheel. Consider swapping after every three or four hours of driving and your journey will be much safer and more enjoyable.
Don’t Drive Drunk
Finally, an interesting fact that many people don’t realize is that the day before Thanksgiving is the single biggest night for bar patronage of the year, which also means it’s one of the heaviest drunk driving nights of the year as well. Often referred to as “black Wednesday” in the alcohol service industry, this night is often so busy because people sneak out to have a few drinks with family they haven’t seen in some time or with a few close friends before the craziness and sometimes stressful situation that may come the following day.
Whether you’re taking a long trip or simply heading out to your favorite local watering hole for a beverage, make sure you plan ahead. Don’t drive drunk and ether secure a ride home in advance or make sure you can get a ride later.If you’re injured in a car accident over the Thanksgiving holiday, you may have the right to compensation and should discuss your options with a Martin County car accident attorney as soon as possible. Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427 today.