The U.S. Department of Transportation offers several pieces of advice to help families stay safe over the Thanksgiving holiday. Travel, particularly travel in poor weather conditions, can be hazardous. The added pressure of a holiday can place many drivers in positions they know to be unsafe. Winter holidays almost always see a sharp rise in car accidents and other transportation injuries.
The AAA reports that some 46 million people will be traveling at least 50 miles this Thanksgiving. The transportation system groans under the weight of traffic it normally doesn’t hold. Traffic jams, crowded airport terminals, overflowing buses and trains, and the jagged nerves that only holiday travel can cause are a recipe for danger. It is important to stay calm, use good judgment and plan ahead to make Thanksgiving a safe and happy experience for you and your family.
The vast majority of holiday travelers will be getting to their destinations by car. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises people to buckle up and make sure that children are properly secured. The NHTSA also asks people to avoid drinking and driving. In 2012, more than 40 percent of the fatal accidents that occurred over Thanksgiving weekend involved drunk drivers. The NHTSA also asks drivers to make sure their cars are properly equipped for winter conditions. Tire pressure should be checked as colder temperatures can lead to changes. Windshield wipers should be in good working order and fluid levels topped off before holiday travel is begun. Winter equipment, such as ice scrapers, jumper cables, blankets, bottled water and blankets should be available if the weather turns nasty.
Drive safely and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Source: US Department of Transportation, “Recipe for safe Thanksgiving travel: patience, preparation” by Todd Solomon, 25 November 2014