CHICAGO, IL – Make sure to plan ahead if you are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to Tripadvisor’s fall travel index, 6 out of 10 Americans plan to travel this season – a 50% increase in people traveling more compared to last fall. Before you drive, take some time to review these five Thanksgiving driving safety tips.
- Give Yourself Extra Time
With extra people on the roadway comes possible congestion and traffic jams. If you have a road trip planned, allow yourself more time for sitting in traffic, waiting in line at tolls and bathroom breaks. Even if it’s only a short trip, make sure to plan ahead in case the weather takes a toll.
- Focus on the Road
It’s critical while traveling that you do not multitask while driving and keep your focus on the road. Make sure to tie up any last minute plans so you’re not checking your phone while on the roadway.
Focus on being a defensive driver and look out for others around you. Be prepared for other drivers to cut you off or engage in road rage behavior. For your safety, your passengers and those around you, remain calm and do not engage in dangerous driving behaviors.
- Prepare for Emergencies
Make sure to prepare yourself for any emergency that could arise including your car breaking down. You should always have your car stocked with an emergency kit that includes jumper cables, a properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench, tripod jack, flashlight, extra batteries and toolkit and/or a multipurpose utility tool. If you have a roadside assistance service, make sure to keep the company’s number handy and a place that’s easy to remember.
- Appoint a Designated Driver
Having a drink or a glass of wine at dinner can be tempting, especially while celebrating with family. If you will be drinking, plan ahead and make sure each vehicle has a designated driver. If necessary, make plans to stay where you’re at until it’s safe for you to drive. Other alternatives include cabs or rideshare services including Lyft or Uber.
- Check the weather
Before heading on the road, make sure to check the weather and plan around any storms that may be coming.
You can also download the Red Cross Emergency app for safety tips and customizable weather alerts for where you and your loved ones live, and areas where you are traveling.