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Now that Thanksgiving is close, safety advocacy agencies are sharing driving tips, and with good reason. The roads will be filled with millions of drivers, increasing the chances for minor and major car accidents. The big holiday travel period will start the Wednesday before the holiday and will not end until early Monday morning. What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones while traveling for the holiday?
A few days before the trip, take your car in for a tune-up, or perform some maintenance at home. Check your tire pressure and treads, and test the car’s battery. Top off your fluids, fill up the gas tank, and make sure that the lights are working. This is also a good time to look over your emergency kit. If you do not have one, now is the time to put one together.
An emergency kit should have bottled water, non-perishable snacks, a phone charger, flashlights, extra batteries, warning triangles, jumper cables, and small tools. If you will be driving to an area that could be impacted by snow, bring along blankets, hats gloves, sand or cat litter, and a shovel. It is also wise to have a first aid kit, extra clothes, and cleaning rags.
Cellphones take your focus away from the road, so make sure to turn on Do Not Disturb mode before driving. Also, enter your route into the GPS before starting the car.
Additionally, make sure that your passengers have things to keep them occupied, like books or toys for young occupants. Every passenger needs to be buckled as well.
Avoiding peak travel times can make the trip more tolerable, but this is not always possible. The worst travel times are usually Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, and Sunday night.
If you have no choice, getting into the right mindset can help. Hitting bad traffic is likely, so try to be patient and accept the fact that you might be late. The main goal is to arrive safely.
Other drivers might be aggressive or dangerous, but you do not have to follow suit. Avoid tailgating and speeding, and keep a safe distance from other vehicles. Follow traffic signs, and designate a passenger to answer your phone.
When you encounter oversized vehicles like tractor-trailers, give them extra room, as their blind spots are larger and they have longer stopping distances. Only pass large trucks and other vehicles when it is safe to do so, and remember to use your turn signal.
Another important safety tip is to take regular breaks when you are traveling for Thanksgiving; this benefits everyone. You and your passengers can stretch out your legs, grab a coffee, have a snack, or take a walk. Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
Even the most conscientious drivers get into auto accidents, and the risks increase during holidays. If you need help after a car crash, speak with one of our Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at 302-427-9500 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.