There’s good news and bad news ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. On the one hand, people are feeling comfortable enough to resume gathering again for the holiday. On the other, the National Safety Council (NSC) is predicting the highest number of roadway deaths on a Thanksgiving weekend in a decade.
If you’re planning on being on the road during the upcoming holiday, is there anything you can do to stay safer? Absolutely.
3 things you can do to make your Thanksgiving travels more secure
You can’t do much about the other drivers on the road, but what you do to improve your own driving can offer some additional protections. With that in mind, remember these rules:
- If you have to drive, don’t imbibe. This doesn’t just mean “don’t drink and then get behind the wheel of the car.” It also means that you need to avoid drinking the night before. Even though the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become notorious for being a night of hard partying, hungover driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. You need to keep your reflexes sharp.
- Plan your route carefully. The highways may be congested with holiday travelers, but rural roads could be more deadly. Aside from the fact that drivers tend to violate traffic rules (especially by speeding) more on rural roads, there’s more animal activity — and that can translate into a bad accident. Plus, if you are hurt in a wreck, you may be miles away from the emergency services you need.
- Don’t let distractions rule you. It can be tough to keep your mind on the road, especially if you have a car full of kids. Have all passengers pack a “go” bag that has snacks, something to read or games to play. That way, you aren’t constantly fielding questions and trying to look over your shoulder as you’re driving.
If you do end up in a wreck with a negligent driver this Thanksgiving, don’t talk to the insurance company involved or make any agreements until you fully understand both your position and your legal options.