Thanksgiving tops the list of busiest travel seasons in the U.S. The increase in traffic on the highways also comes with an increase in travel-related car accidents. No one wants to have their Thanksgiving holiday travel interrupted by a crash. The experienced South Jersey personal injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. offer the following tips to keep you and your family safe this Thanksgiving.
Planning Your Thanksgiving Trip
Making Thanksgiving travel a safe and stress-free process begins before the vacation starts. Early planning is one of the best ways to avoid accidents.
- Routes – Plan the route you will take and include an alternate in case of detour. Inform someone at the destination of your plan. If stranded somewhere, this could be lifesaving. Check the weather and prepare accordingly.
- Emergency equipment – Have an emergency kit in the car including a hand-crank charger, road flares and/or reflective triangles, first aid kit, flashlight, and any other safety gear you may need.
- Pack essentials – Pack food, water, blankets and a first aid kit in case of an emergency.
- Vehicle maintenance – Check headlights, signals, and taillights for cleanliness and proper operation. Make sure the vehicle has enough clean coolant. Check for tire wear and ensure the proper pressure.
- Do not overload vehicle – Too much in the car can prevent safe braking or cause steering to be difficult. The manufacturer’s plate on the side of the driver’s door will provide proper weight limits. If in doubt, stop at a local truck stop and weigh your vehicle.
- Take your time – Rushing is one of the most common causes of mistakes and accidents. Plan around avoiding the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when many college students are on the highways, often impaired.
- Plenty of rest – Getting adequate rest cannot be overstated. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as intoxicated driving.
On the Road Safety
Once underway, there are other steps you can take to help avoid accidents during Thanksgiving travel.
- Avoid impairments – Impaired driving is a major factor in accidents that occur during Thanksgiving holiday travel. Never drive if you have been drinking or if you have taken medication that affects your ability to drive safely.
- Follow the speed limit – If you are unable to leave on schedule, understand that getting to your destination late is better than not getting there at all. Any time saved by speeding is not worth the risk.
- Rotate drivers – Ideally, stop every couple of hours to stretch, use the restroom, and switch drivers. Everyone stays rested and in a better mood, adding to both safety and enjoyment.
- Buckle up – Wearing your seat belt is the single most effective way to avoid serious injury in the event of a crash.
- Stay alert – Watch for construction and accidents.
- Avoid distractions – Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. Never text or answer calls while driving. If possible, have another adult tend to the children in the back seat.
- Keep a safe following distance – This is especially important at night. Space two seconds for every 10 mph between you and the vehicle ahead. At 70 mph, a minimum of 14 seconds allows for safe braking in an emergency. Allow more for poor road conditions.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Wish Everyone Safe Thanksgiving Travels
The South Jersey car accident lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. are committed to pursuing justice and compensation for victims of negligence. Contact us online or call 856-354-9444 today to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout South Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area, including those in Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.