Thanksgiving driving is often a must if you want to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with family. According to AAA, 49.3 million travelers will be doing Thanksgiving driving — the most since 2005 and 2.8% more than last year.
AAA reports that more than 55 million travelers are making plans for a trip of 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving. This will be the second-highest Thanksgiving travel volume since AAA began tracking in 2000. Overall, an additional 1.6 million more people will travel compared with last year, a 2.9% increase. This includes those doing Thanksgiving driving, flying, cruising and other travel.
Not surprisingly, Wednesday afternoon to be the worst travel period nationally for Thanksgiving driving. According to the report, trips on Wednesday morning can take as much at four times longer than normal in major metros. Click here to see the chart of the delay multiplier in some of the largest metro areas.
Before you start your Thanksgiving Driving, here are a few safety tips from the American Safety Council:
- Plan Ahead: Make sure that you vehicle is ready for long distance, stop-and-go travel before you leave the garage. Make sure that your windshield wipers work well, that you have enough wiper fluid, that your tires are properly inflated, and that no service lights illuminate your dashboard.
- Pack Wisely: Make sure that you aren’t putting more weight in your car than your vehicle can handle and that the gear in your car is properly stowed so that it won’t shift at an abrupt stop. If you’re traveling with kids or pets, make sure your little ones are secure in their respective seats and that they are equipped with food, water, and toys to keep them entertained during the drive.
- Choose Alternate Travel Days: If possible, leave a day early and stay an extra day at your Thanksgiving destination to avoid traffic hassles and potential roadside headaches. Another good idea is to use a GPS device with real-time traffic information to keep your options open for alternate routes. Make sure that you are rested and alert to drive and make frequent stops to give you and your passengers a break.
- Watch the Weather Reports: In many parts of the country, Thanksgiving weekend means the potential for hazardous weather. Watch the weather reports before you set out for the weekend and before you travel back home to make sure that the roads aren’t too treacherous to drive.
- Avoid Distractions: Distracted driving is never good idea, whether it’s a holiday weekend or any time of the year. But the holidays do have a way of taking our minds away from common sense practices, like driving safely and responsibly. Even if your mother-in-law is calling and texting you non-stop on the drive, ignore all distractions until you are able to safely pull off the road and respond. Cell phones and holiday traffic don’t mix, and no call or text is worth risking your life over.
Whether you are staying home for braving Thanksgiving driving, have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!
Attorneys Matthew Noyes and Lorrie Robinson help families who are impacted by a Tampa Bay car accident. Attorney Matthew Noyes even wrote a book on it – Do You Really Need An Attorney After a Car Accident. If you have questions after a car accident, call Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.