Last fall, more than 55 million travelers took to the roads and skies for the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, AAA predicts that 80% of fall travel will occur via road trip. If Americans choose to travel this holiday season, which 56% of Americans plan to do, you should expect crowded roadways.
If you are planning to travel yourself, you should also heed some safety tips to help keep your road trip as fun and free from danger as possible.
We recommend you:
Whether you’re worried about the coronavirus or weather conditions, planning ahead is the first step towards safety. Check the weather forecast before you head out, plan stops and overnight stays in advance, and travel at less popular times, avoiding rush hours in big cities and areas that may be especially crowded at certain times.
Being around too many people increases the risk of both car accidents and catching COVID-19, so the better your plan is, the lower your risk. That being said, always make sure to get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel – and pull over if you get tired or need to take a call, even if it means switching drivers or adjusting your schedule.
Another way to plan ahead is to have your car serviced before your trip. Check your vehicle for recalls and make sure your battery is working before you go anywhere. You should also check the tread and pressure on your tires and be sure that all your fluids are topped off. Inspect wiper blades, belts and hoses, floor mats, and your climate control system, as well. If you think you might encounter snow or ice, pack snow chains and a winter emergency kit.
Every time you get into a motor vehicle, put your seatbelt on before you do anything else. Don’t forget to buckle children into age- and size-appropriate child seats, as well.
Stay Alert (and Sober)
When you are behind the wheel, don’t text, use your mobile phone, adjust the GPS, or do anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands of the wheel, or attention off the task of driving. Bring activities to keep kids entertained, so you don’t have to deal with fighting or distractions in the back seat.
Because you’re paying attention, you’ll be able to keep an eye out for animals, especially when it starts getting dark.
Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol – on a road trip or at any other time.
Speeding causes car accidents, so adhere to the speed limit at all times. You may even need to go below the speed limit if you are dealing with traffic or adverse weather conditions. Leave plenty of space between yourself and other cars on the road, especially if you see snow and/or ice.
You can also slow down the pace of your entire trip by stopping frequently for gas and rest breaks. The last thing you want is to run out of fuel in the middle of November or fall asleep at the wheel!
While it’s good to plan ahead, your plan also needs to be flexible. Give your family members an estimated time of arrival, but don’t rush to get there by that time.
To deal with stressors, the best mantra for a road trip may be:
“We’ll get there when we get there.”
The holidays are hectic, and some drivers let it go to their heads. Be on the lookout for drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent drivers.
Although you should do your best to anticipate and prevent accidents, you cannot control other people. If you are harmed by a reckless or careless driver, the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli can help.
Call Attorney Gueli 24/7 at (516) 628-6402 or contact our firm online to schedule a free consultation.
We wish you a safe and enjoyable road trip, and as always, we are here for you if something goes wrong.