If you’re planning on traveling for Thanksgiving, you’re not alone. And unfortunately, that can mean trouble. Last year, some estimates put increases in traffic jams at over 300 percent, not to mention an uptick in traffic accidents by more than 100 percent. So what can you do to stay safe and hassle-free on your Thanksgiving drive? Read on.
Traffic Tip: Try to Avoid Peak Driving Times
Google Maps analyzed traffic and found the following times are the worst to drive:
- Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m., with traffic beginning to increase around 1 p.m. and lasting through the end of the day.
- Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. Traffic will begin to increase around 11 a.m. and last ’til the end of the day.
- When returning, Saturday looks like a tougher day to travel than Sunday, so might as well plan on relaxing at your holiday location for an extra day before heading back.
If it’s possible to plan your travel days for Monday, Thanksgiving Day itself, Friday or Sunday, you’ll be less likely to hit major traffic jams and to end up in an accident.
Traffic Tip: Drive Rested and Alert
Make sure you get enough shut-eye the night before you’re going to be driving. Studies show that driving while sleep-deprived is almost as detrimental to your reflexes as driving drunk. So set your bedtime to make sure you get 8 hours and stick to it. And if you find yourself getting tired, tag out and let one of your companions take a shift in the driver’s seat.
Traffic Tip: Have a Roadside Emergency Kit
A roadside emergency kit can be a total game-changer in the event of an accident or even something like a flat tire. In addition to a first aid kit, here’s what you should pack for your drive.
- Work or latex gloves
- Jumper cables
- Tools to change a tire (jack, lug nut wrench, tire iron)
- Ice scraper
- Paper towels
- Duct tape
- Bottled water
- Energy bars
- A well-stocked emergency kit makes an emergency situation less scary, so be prepared.
Traffic Tip: Have a Plan A and a Plan B
You’ve likely got your route to your destination mapped out, and maybe even when and where you plan to stop. Knowing your plan before you leave takes the guesswork out of your travel. But it’s also a good idea to have a Plan B in case things don’t go according to your original plan. Maybe you hit bad traffic and need to stop before your planned location. Or maybe you get lucky and don’t hit traffic and decide to drive further. Adding a few potential rest locations to your agenda can save a lot of stress.
Traffic Tip: Be a Courteous, Defensive Driver
Like always, obey the rules of the road and drive defensively. Police officers will be out in droves to ensure the roads stay safe, and that means there’s a high likelihood of getting a ticket if you’re speeding or otherwise driving in an unsafe manner. Help keep the roads and your driving companions safe so everyone can enjoy their Thanksgiving plans.
Personal Injury from Car Accidents
If you do find yourself in a situation where you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, our experienced lawyers at Presley & Presley can help ensure you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. You won’t pay us a dime until you receive your settlement, so there’s no risk in hiring us to take on your case. For more information or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 816-931-4611 (or toll free at 855-931-4611), or use our contact form.