Whether you are traveling over the river or through the woods, there’s one thing for sure; it’s wise to plan ahead. Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching and with it come travel headaches and road hazards. Simple steps taken ahead of your journey can save you time and keep you safe.
It’s common knowledge that airports are the place you do not want to be on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, or the Saturday and Sunday after the big day. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the highways and byways leading to Grandmother’s house are also travel nightmares during the holiday. Congested roadways and Interstates, fatigued drivers, anxious families rushing to get to their destinations, and a few drivers who may think they are sober enough to drive can lead to serious car accidents, injuries and even death.
Taking the time to check the weather ahead of schedule can help you plan the best time to travel. If the weather predictions for the direction you are traveling look less than favorable, planning to leave a few hours or even a day earlier can make the journey safer and more enjoyable. Delaying the trip for a few hours can also be a safe alternative if conditions are likely to improve.
Drivers need to be well rested, nourished and alert. Drivers and passengers need to wear their seatbelts at all times. Parents should plan to travel at times a few hours before or closely following meal times. Hungry children can be cranky and demanding, which can distract the driver. Frequent stops along the way will help alleviate passenger boredom and driver eye strain. Speed limits and local laws need to be followed, including those involving phones and texting. Turn off your cell phone and focus on the road.
When traveling a long distance, rotate drivers when possible every two to four hours. Be sure to pack an emergency kit with blankets, flares, non-perishable food items and a few bottles of water in case bad weather or mechanical problems leave you stranded. And remember to enjoy the journey. Preparations made ahead of your trip can offer you peace of mind that you and your family will be safe this holiday season.
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