Why Holidays Can Be Dangerous on the Road
According to AutoInsurance.org, Thanksgiving is the 8th deadliest holiday on the road in the US, with 391 fatal car crashes in 2020. Many people choose to drive to see family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday, increasing the chances of more accidents on the road. It is rational to assume that with more traffic, there is a higher likelihood of collisions. However, the road does not have to be dangerous, if you consider taking these extra precautions.
How to Be Safe on the Road this Thanksgiving
While you should always follow general safety rules while driving, there are a few things you should also consider when driving during the holiday season:
- Have a driving plan
- Plan out your drive so that (ideally) there are at least two drivers in the car who can switch off for longer trips. If you are driving more than four or five hours somewhere, it is best to have a driving partner so you can alternate who is driving.
- Decide where you will stop and when you will switch off before you begin the trip. Knowing the next driver switch is only one hour away is a lot easier to handle than just driving until you feel tired. You may feel obligated to push yourself to not burden other family members, but instead, you may increase your risk of an accident if you drive tired.
- Drive defensively
- You should drive defensively more than usual during the holidays. Be on the lookout for other drivers who may be impaired due to being under the influence or who are simply fatigued. Steer clear of cars that are swerving, speeding, or driving too slowly.
- Limit distractions in the car
- If you are driving with kids in the car, make sure they have ways of keeping themselves entertained. Preset the car with things kids can do to entertain themselves with the fewest distractions for the driver. Try to limit tensions between siblings so that everyone has a relaxed drive. The last thing parents want is to settle a fight between siblings while driving 70 mph down the highway. If it does come down to simmering tensions in the car, it is best to settle the dispute off the road. Take a break and let the family regroup.
- Have a plan at your destination
- If you can stay the night at your destination, you should opt to do so. Even if you are not consuming alcohol, traditional Thanksgiving meals have a lot of carbs, which can make you feel sluggish. Turkey is notorious for making you sleepy with tryptophan. The relaxed atmosphere and large meal can make anyone feel tired, and the last thing you may want to do is get behind the wheel feeling sleepy.
We wish you and your family a safe holiday season! Try to take the stress out of traveling by being prepared and following our tips while on the road. However, if the worst should happen, know that our office will always be here to help!