Many people will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Some people may only go across town or a few towns over to visit family or friends, while others will drive long distances to get to their holiday destination. Due to all this travel, the day before Thanksgiving ranks among one of the busiest travel days on the road.

However, the increase in traffic combined with the potential for bad weather and other road factors can greatly increase the risks of accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend. If you plan on traveling or being out on the road this Thanksgiving weekend, here are some tips to help you keep yourself and your passengers safe by avoiding accidents.

Avoid Drunk Driving and Drunk Drivers

The Thanksgiving weekend is an opportunity for many people to celebrate with alcohol. Many people will drink on Thanksgiving itself while watching the football games and with their Thanksgiving dinner. People who have the entire Thanksgiving weekend off may even start the celebration early on Wednesday afternoon and evening with a round of drinking after work.

Whenever and wherever you choose to consume alcohol over the Thanksgiving weekend, you should always make travel arrangements to ensure that you do not drive drunk. Possible options include:

  • Having a designated driver in your party who will completely refrain from alcohol
  • Taking a cab or rideshare vehicle
  • Taking public transportation
  • Staying the night at your destination

Even if you are driving sober, you should be extra mindful of other drivers out on the road over the Thanksgiving weekend who may be impaired. 

Plan Ahead

Speeding ranks among one of the most frequent causes of auto accidents during Thanksgiving weekend. Many people feel the pressure to speed to get to their destination or the Thanksgiving family dinner on time, especially after being delayed by heavy traffic or bad weather. It always helps to remove the stress of staying on schedule by planning ahead for your travel. This includes checking the traffic and weather to see if you might need to take an alternate route to your destination, as well as leaving a little extra early to give yourself a cushion for those unexpected travel delays.

Drive Safely

With so many vehicles on the road, it can be easy for drivers to become frustrated with other motorists and engage in reckless driving behaviors or road rage. Remember to keep calm and to always observe traffic laws and rules of the road, even when other drivers are not being so courteous.

Take Breaks and Avoid Fatigued Driving

Drowsy or fatigued driving is another common cause of motor vehicle accidents over Thanksgiving weekend, as many drivers travel long distances and spend hours on the road. Lots of people even choose to hit the road after spending a day at work on Wednesday just to make it to their destination by Thursday morning. If you have long travel, remember to take frequent breaks, pulling off the highway or into a rest stop to get out, stretch, and have some water or food. If you are traveling with passengers who are licensed to drive, consider taking turns driving so that no one begins to feel fatigued behind the wheel. If you do start to feel tired or drowsy, pull off the road as soon as possible to take a rest.

Don’t Text and Drive

Although you may be tempted to look at your cell phone to put in your destination for GPS navigation or to update family and friends on your travel, you should never text while driving, 

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The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.