November 23, 2021

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Here Are Some Crucial Driving Tips

thanksgiving driving

More than 50 million people will travel to gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving. The travel usually reaches peak levels starting around noon on Wednesday and could last through the holiday weekend. When driving in larger cities, you should expect the drive to take about three times longer than normal.

With more drivers on the road and longer travel times, there will be more car accidents. Most people choose to travel by car, which has the highest fatality rate of any major type of transportation. Additionally, many people drink on or around Thanksgiving, which greatly increases the potential for accidents.

To prepare for the holiday, you should review some important driving safety tips. The following Thanksgiving driving tips can help you avoid a car accident.

Proper Vehicle Maintenance

Fall weather is highly volatile. You need to ensure your vehicle is in top running condition and safe for road travel. Early November is a great time to have seasonal service done on your vehicle to ensure the tires, brakes, and other equipment are in good condition. You need good headlights, wiper blades, and washer fluid to give you visibility.

Use Seat Belts and Car Seats

A seat belt is the best safety device that prevents car accident injuries. You need to use a seat belt every time you are in the car, and you should make sure your passengers are wearing one too.

If you have a young child, you should use an appropriate car seat that is installed correctly. You might need to shut off passenger safety bags that could pose a danger to young children.

Do Not Drink and Drive

Thanksgiving often means gathering with friends and family on the night before, also known as Thanksgiving Eve, for a few drinks at a popular local bar. Thanksgiving Eve is one of the busiest bar nights in the country.

Many people will be drinking on Thanksgiving Eve, which means more DUI-related car accidents. If you plan to drive, be more cautious, and watch out for impaired drivers. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver ahead of time, or plan to use a rideshare service to get home safely.

Avoid Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving. The long Thanksgiving holiday break and potential festivities can deprive you of sleep. When you get into the car to drive home, you might feel extremely drowsy. If you feel too drowsy to safely operate your vehicle, do not drive.

Do Not Pay Attention to Rowdy Passengers

When you are driving, your focus should be on the road. A car full of family and friends is a dangerous situation if you get distracted. The more passengers you have, the more likely one or more might do something that distracts you while you are driving.

Something as simple as looking into the rearview mirror while responding to someone in the back seat could cause you to drift out of your lane. Keep the noise level low, and focus on driving safely instead of rowdy passengers.

Turn Off the Cellphone

You might be tempted to leave your cellphone on and check for messages and answer phone calls. However, unless you are using a hands-free system to talk on your cellphone, it is against the law to use it while driving in most states. That is because cellphone use is one of the biggest causes of distracted driving accidents.

When you take your eyes off the road for even a few seconds to read a text message, your vehicle travels a great distance. You should put your cellphone away before you start your vehicle.

Adapt to Road Conditions

Fall weather is unpredictable, and traffic can be heavy around the holidays. When road conditions are less than ideal, you need to slow down and ensure you maintain a safe following distance. This is especially important on wet roads and when traffic is backed up due to congestion.

What if an Accident Occurs?

If you wind up in a car accident, you need to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. You should document the scene as much as possible with your cellphone and obtain contact information from any helpful witnesses. A responding officer will need to get a statement for the police report.

If you are on the way to the emergency room in an ambulance, a false statement from the other driver could go into the official police report. While the police report may not have significant value in a court case, insurers often use the report to help determine liability. A lawyer can help protect your rights.

A lawyer can help you gather evidence and stop insurers from calling you. When you retain a lawyer, all insurer inquiries must go through them. Your lawyer can help you hold the at-fault driver liable for the accident.

Montgomery County Car Accident Lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. Can Help You After a Thanksgiving Collision

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with friends and family, however, it is also a dangerous time for motorists. Our Montgomery County car accident lawyers at Anthony C. Gagliano III, P.C. can help you after a Thanksgiving collision. Call us at 267-861-7100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. We are located in Philadelphia, and we serve clients throughout Montgomery County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Norristown, Pennsylvania.