Driving Safety Tips for Thanksgiving Travel

daytime highway trafficThanksgiving is almost here and that means millions of Americans will be hitting the road to join family and friends. Unfortunately, with so many vehicles on the road, there is a much higher risk of an accident. That is why it is so important to be extra cautious by carefully planning your trip and driving defensively.

Below, learn more about how to plan for a safe Thanksgiving road trip and what driving behaviors to avoid.

Planning Your Trip

Driving is usually the most popular method of transportation on Thanksgiving. In 2015 alone, approximately 1.5 million Arizona residents drove to their destination compared to about 345,000 residents who flew.

However, if you plan accordingly, you may be able to avoid the heavy traffic. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year, so try to leave on Tuesday if possible.

If you cannot avoid traveling on the Wednesday before, try to leave before 2 p.m. or after 7 p.m. Traffic should be lighter so it should be a little easier to avoid a crash.

When possible, plan your trip to avoid being on the road at night. If you can simply reduce the amount of time you will be on the road at night, that can be very helpful as well.

You should also check the weather forecast before you go. Maybe there is a time you can leave when you will avoid bad weather (snow, rain, icy roads).

Rest Up Before You Go

Even if you will only be on the road for a couple hours, it is important to be well-rested, so you do not become fatigued or sleepy while behind the wheel. Plan so you are not up late packing suitcases and have time for the recommended seven hours of sleep.

Consider Buying a GPS Device

These can make it so much easier to find your destination and keep you on track. GPS devices can also help you find gas stations and food and alert you to traffic jams and accidents ahead.

Plan Stops Ahead of Time

You should always plan to stop along the way for a bathroom break, food or simply to get out and stretch your legs. This can help you stay more alert if you are the one driving. These stops could also be a chance to let someone else drive if you are feeling tired.

Avoid Dangerous Driving Behaviors

This includes things like impaired driving and distracted driving. You should also avoid speeding ”“ which can be a lot easier if you give yourself enough time to make it to your destination, so you do not need to rush.

Distractions include cellphones, social media, fiddling with the radio or GPS system, eating or drinking, engaging in intense conversations with passengers, and dealing with noisy children.

If you need to make a call, have an in-depth conversation or deal with problems with your kids, pull over so you can give the situation your full attention. You should not be splitting your attention between driving and anything else.

Make sure to drive defensively by maintaining a safe distance between your vehicle and others, using your turn signals when turning or changing lanes, checking blind spots, obeying the speed limit, and being aware of the vehicles around you. You cannot always trust other drivers to be safe, so you need to be prepared to slow down, change lanes or make other maneuvers to avoid an accident.

Contact a Lawyer After an Accident

All of us here at Phillips Law Group want you to have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. If a crash does occur, and another driver may be to blame, you can call our firm to set up a free consultation.

You may be eligible to pursue compensation for damages and our Phoenix car accident attorneys may be able to guide you through the process. We have decades of combined experience and have recovered millions in compensation for auto accident victims.

We take cases on contingency, so there are no upfront fees. We do not receive compensation unless our clients do first.

You can call us at 602-222-222 anytime, night or day.