Posted on November 23rd, 2022 by Zane Cagle
Load up on patience and understanding for the holiday weekend. Heavy traffic congestion and delays can further contribute to our holiday-gathering stress.
It’s another Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In the lead up to the holiday, we hear many radio and television programs giving advice and pointers on how to survive the stress of gathering with family and friends. Most of us have experienced some type of tense family event and can relate. We are not relationship experts and won’t try to give you advice on coping with family stress. We are here to talk about how to increase your chances of having a safe road trip for the holiday weekend. If you aren’t concerned about a peaceful gathering, you are still under pressure to meet timelines and making meal preparations, etc. It can be a lot!
While many will fly, millions will get in a car and drive to their destination. Thinking about the possible conflict ahead can make driving even more stressful. The National Safety Council predicts a rise in road fatalities this year which may exceed the height in 2007. The more vehicles on the road increase the likelihood of a motor vehicle crash. Additionally, holiday weekends usually involve alcohol. Thus, without a firm plan for transportation, there may be those who are driving under the influence. We cannot stress enough that all of these factors increase the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes. Thus, do what you can to keep your conflict and stress off the roadway as it endangers everyone.
Thanksgiving holiday weekends usually see a huge jump in air travel but motor vehicles are still the most common form of transportation. Motor vehicles have the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation. Holidays also often include alcohol. We can travel and celebrate safely if we plan.
Plan plenty of time for your road travel and allow for heavy traffic. And, do not drive impaired.
According to AAA, 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles ore more from home which is an increase of 1.5% over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volume. This year is predicted to be the busiest for Thanksgiving travel since AAA started tracking in 2000. “Plan ahead and pack your patience, whether you’re driving or flying”, according to AAA Senior Vice President of Travel. Travel times will peak on Wednesday afternoon on a national level so travelers should expect much heavier than normal congestion throughout the holiday weekend.
Safety Tips For Roadway Travel
DO NOT drink and drive. Yes, it’s a holiday and yes, merriment is usually a part of the holiday. Plan your sober transportation
Make Sure the Car is Ready–make sure your tires are in good shape, etc.
Map Out Your Route Ahead of Time–consult your directions and look for possible road construction, re-routing etc. Allow plenty of time.
Buckle Up–Wearing a seat belt increases your rate of survival by 45% in a passenger car and 60% in a pick up. Whether you are traveling two miles or 200 miles, wear the seat belt
Avoid Fatigue– Cute thought, right? After several days of celebrating, we are all fatigued. The important thing is that you do not climb behind the wheel fatigued and attempt to drive long distances. Share driving responsibilities with others in the vehicle if possible.
Do Not Text While Driving. Minimize any activity including talking on the phone that may distract your from focusing your full attention on the roadway. Don’t text or post to social media while driving–we all know it is extremely dangerous and do not need experts to tell us this to be true.
Keep a Safe Following Distance– Allow ample time to react to traffic around you. Following too closely is the number one cause of rear-end collisions. Traveling at high speeds on the interstate while following too closely is rife with dangers.
Watch Your Speed. Drive to the conditions of the road and traffic. Don’t try to compete with impatient and aggressive drivers. It really is not worth it. Those who speed and drive aggressively will usually experience a natural consequence of actions. You don’t want to be in their wake when it happens.
Remain Calm. Hey, it’s the holidays and we can easily become stressed and irritable due to traffic and anticipating the event. I’m pretty sure we all know the experience of having to be really patient with some relatives and acquaintances joining the festivities. As well, there can be strict schedules when planning an event and delays in traffic can raise your stress level. Take some deep breaths. Pull over at a safe location if you are enraged. It can be easy to become enraged while driving in hectic traffic under stressful conditions. but, road rage compromises the safety of yourself and everyone around you.
Thanksgiving Should Be a Time of Celebration and Thankfulness
As with any major holiday and group events, there can be stress. It can be hard while you are in the midst of travel and preparation to remember why we gather. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming. However, there are few things that can put a bigger damper on the festivities than a car crash. Yet, the Thanksgiving holiday launches the most dangerous driving season of the year. From this weekend until after the first of the year 2023, family and work gatherings are plentiful. After a couple of years of work and other group events beging canceleed due to the pandemic, experts predict we will have one of the busiest holiday seasons. Busy holiday seasons involve more hours on the roadway and increase for the likelihood of impaired drivers.
Take steps to Keep Yourself Safe
You can only be accountable for your actions. Being alert and aware while driving increase the chances of safe travel. Assume the other drivers are not paying attention or worse, are impaired. Plan your travel if possible, around peak travel times. Always wear a seat belt. Seat belts dramatically increase your chances of surviving a crash by almost 50 percent.
If You Are Involved in a Car Crash
Car crashes occur and they are rarely “accidents”. An “accident” is an event that happens by chance with no apparent cause. Ninety-nine percent of motor vehicle “accidents” have one or more causes. Generally, crashes occur because a driver failed to follow the rules of the road and made a driving error. Often, the errors can result in their injury and others. Car crash reports are called “incident reports” instead of “accident reports” for that very reason.
Know how you will respond if you are in a motor vehicle collision:
Call 911– always call authorities immediately to document the crash but more importantly to assist in preventing other collisions around you.
Gather Information– if you are physically able, collect identification, contact information and insurance information for all of the vehicles involved. Take photos of the vehicles at the crash site if safe to do so.
Seek Medical Treatment–It is not convenient to seek medical treatment over a holiday weekend. Actually, it is not convenient to seek medical treatment ever. If you are in pain, do not put off going to see a medical doctor.
Call an Attorney. We are available seven days a week to answer your most pressing questions.
Call us at 1.800.685.3302 or locally 314.276.1681