Traveling to visit family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday is a great tradition. The increased traffic volume during the Holiday-likely to be higher than normal with the reduced price of gas- makes it especially important to pay attention to safety precautions. After all, nobody wants to miss a turkey dinner with all the trimmings in favor of an afternoon in the ER.
Do the basics. Before your trip, inspect your vehicle to make sure everything is in working order. Check tire air pressure and fluid levels. Clean your headlights, tail lights, signal lights, and windows. Double check your car’s emergency kit to make sure you have essential items such as water, snacks, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and blankets in case you run into car trouble. Fill up your gas tank and recharge the battery to your cell phone.
As you’re loading up the car, check your vehicle’s load capacity to make sure you’re not carrying too much weight. On most newer vehicles, the total weight that is safe to carry (including passengers and cargo) is listed on a sticker inside the driver’s door jamb. Take care when packing items to make sure everything is properly secured and won’t create a hazard if you need to stop suddenly.
Focus your full attention on the road as you’re traveling. Avoid distractions such as talking on cell phones or eating behind the wheel. If you have young children, provide them with snacks and activities so they’re not taking your focus off the road in front of you. If you’re traveling with a pet, make sure the animal is crated or otherwise secured.
Always observe all speed limits. The interstate in Idaho is 80 Mph in places. That’s fast enough. Driving too fast drastically increases your chance of being in a collision. Plan your schedule so you have ample time to arrive at your destination, taking into account increased roadway traffic due to the holiday season. If you have a GPS with traffic information and an exit guide, this can be a useful way to navigate around road congestion.
If you’re traveling a long distance, make frequent stops for rest breaks. If possible, try to rotate drivers. Drivers who are too tired are prone to errors that can cause serious accidents, especially if they’re traveling on unfamiliar roads.
For many people, a Thanksgiving meal includes an alcoholic beverage or two. It’s fine to enjoy a few drinks with dinner, but don’t get back behind the wheel until you’ve had a chance to sober up.
Protect Your Legal Rights
Although following these basic safety tips can reduce your risk of causing a collision, you can’t account for the behavior of the drivers around you. If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Call (208) 386-9119 or toll-free at (888) 490-0992 for a free consultation from the skilled personal injury attorneys at Holzer Edwards.