Everyone knows that the Thanksgiving weekend is one of, if not the, highest travel weekends of the year. People drive and fly all over the country to be with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday. It makes sense, and research shows, that the odds of getting into a car crash increase during times when there are more vehicles and trucks on the road (such as rush hour or holidays) or during periods of inclement weather.
It follows then, that crash numbers increase over holiday weekends, especially when the weather is poor.
Further, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend tends to lead to more alcohol consumption than usual. Whether folks stay in town or travel to be with their families, they tend to drink to celebrate the holidays. This alcohol consumption can lead to poor decision making – people want to/need to get back home even after a day of drinking so they take a chance they ordinarily wouldn’t.
When you couple the increased traffic and potentially bad weather with alcohol involvement, it is a recipe for disaster.
What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones this Thanksgiving holiday weekend? The American Red Cross has given us some fantastic travel tips if traveling by car:
- Check the weather reports before you leave;
- Always keep your gas tank as full as possible;
- Buckle up;
- Slow down;
- Don’t drive impaired (take a cab or Uber or have a designated driver)
- Be well rested and alert;
- Follow the safety rules of the road;
- Don’t drive distracted;
- Use caution in work zones;
- Make frequent stops;
- Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows; and
- If you have car trouble, pull far off the road, stay with the car, turn the heat on, and tie a bright cloth to the antenna for rescuers.
The American Red Cross has also given us tips if traveling by plane or train:
- Try not to touch public items and wash your hands frequently;
- Handle your own belongings as much as possible;
- Carry hand sanitizer and wipe down armrests;
- Bring your own pillows; and
- Avoid touching your face or eyes.