Thanksgiving is one the busiest holidays for travel. Learn how you can minimize your risk of an accident.
Each year, local news is full of stories of plane and train delays, and of passengers being stressed and exhausted from Thanksgiving travel. This holiday is known as the busiest time of year for travel, with Americans across the country heading out to share the weekend with family and friends.
Much of the emphasis is on air travel, and how difficult it can be. However, although many Americans fly home for the holidays, even more drive. Millions of Americans will take to the roads to get to their destinations, making the potential for traffic accidents even higher. With cars full of suitcases and kids, the chances of having a serious accident only increase. This is particularly true if you are already stressed about the travel or the prospect of spending a long weekend with family!
As experienced car crash attorneys, we know how quickly an accident can happen — and how devastating it can be for those involved. Far too many collisions lead to serious, permanent injuries or even fatalities. While you cannot prevent all accidents, you can take steps to ensure that your travel is as safe as possible. Here are our best ideas for how you can get to your destination securely this Thanksgiving.
Maintain Your Car
Before heading out on any long-distance drive, make sure that your car is in good working condition. Even if your car has recently been serviced, take the time to check your fluid levels and battery, and be sure to fill up with gas before heading out. Keeping your vehicle in good shape and having a full tank of gas are important steps in ensuring that you are not stranded during your holiday travels.
When it comes to car travel, especially with kids, it is easy to overpack. After all, you don’t have weight or size restrictions like you do with airplanes — if it fits in your car, you can take it. But not so fast — your car does not actually have an unlimited capacity, and overpacking can be dangerous. Take the time to check your car’s weight limit, and factor in the number + size of your passengers plus luggage when determining if you have exceeded it. Plan and pack smartly to avoid overloading your car — and causing an accident when your car isn’t able to handle the weight.
As part of your packing process, make sure that you leave room for emergency supplies in case you have an accident, your car breaks down, or someone has a medical emergency. You should have a flashlight, first-aid kit, tools, blanket and bottled water. If you do break down, remember that you are at high risk of being hit while you are on the side of the road. If possible, make sure that your vehicle is completely off the road or fully on the shoulder. Have everyone get out of the car away from traffic and wait for help as far away from the road as possible. Turn on your hazard lights, and set up emergency triangles or flares to warn other drivers that you have broken down.
Practice Safe Driving
Once your vehicle is in good order and is packed well, it’s time for you to brush up on your driver’s education basics. Drive in the right lane, and try to stay within the speed limit. While it is tempting to speed to get to a destination quickly, it won’t actually be faster if you are in an accident. Staying in the right lane can help you maintain a proper speed, and it may also save you from being hit by a wrong-way or drunk driver.
If possible, avoid driving at night. While it may be hard to get on the road during the day, driving at night can be more challenging because it is difficult to see hazards. It may also be hard for other drives to spot you if you have a breakdown. If you can, try to head out early to avoid driving at night.
Finally, do not engage in any type of distracted driving. Texting and driving, checking your phone, or taking a call while driving are all likely to lead to accidents. Keep your eyes on the road, and pull over if you need to make a call, check directions, or respond to a text message. Distracted driving has become an ever-increasing factor in car crashes, so do yourself and your loved ones a favor and put your phone away while driving.
If you have been in a car accident during Thanksgiving travel, please know that we can help you recover for your losses. At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we are skilled, compassionate car crash lawyers with years of experience advocating on behalf of our clients. We will fight hard for you to get the compensation that you deserve, and we never charge a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to schedule a free initial consultation.