With more motorists hitting the roads during Thanksgiving week to visit family and friends, the holiday is a dangerous time for travel. Increased traffic on the highways and roadways increases the risk of motor vehicle accidents.
While an auto collision may increase your insurance rates, a traffic ticket or fender bender can do the same–besides getting your holiday season off to a more costly and stressful start. Therefore, it helps to know what factors contribute to Thanksgiving crashes and what you can do to avoid them.
Travel period. Decide on the better time to travel. Avoid traveling at the times or on the days when most other travelers are on the road.
Since the Thanksgiving travel period is spread out over several days and the weekend–running from Wednesday evening until Sunday–if you must travel on Wednesday, the earlier in the day you leave to avoid the holiday traffic rush, the better. But depending on where you're going for Thanksgiving dinner, traveling on the actual holiday is safer because there is less traffic on the roadways.
If you go on a longer holiday trip and stay for a few days, if you can, plan your return trip for Monday rather than on Sunday when most other holiday travelers are heading home.
Travel distance. When traveling longer distances, you can become tired or sleepy while driving. Even if you don't fall asleep at the wheel, driving drowsy affects your judgment, slows your reaction time, and makes it hard to keep your attention on the road. You'll know that it's time to find a safe spot to pull over and rest for a bit if you miss your exit, start drifting from your lane, or find yourself blinking frequently.
Poor weather conditions. Pay attention to weather forecasts. When the forecasters are calling for severe weather conditions, it's safest to stay home to celebrate the holiday. Bad weather and travel make an even worse combination at Thanksgiving time when daylight time is shorter and the darkness makes it harder to see potential hazards.
Speeding. While accelerating faster may get you to your Thanksgiving destination sooner, it can also get you a traffic ticket. Worse yet, you may be involved in an auto accident.
Move with the flow of traffic, but don't exceed the speed limit. While motorists traveling at high speeds don't necessarily cause more accidents, involvement in an accident at high speed is usually more serious and often fatal. The faster you go, the harder you hit.
Give yourself plenty of time so that you don't have to rush to beat Thanksgiving traffic.
Alcohol consumption. Some people drink and drive more over the holidays–often right before heading off on a trip. If you're driving, don't drink and then climb behind the wheel. If you don't drink, avoid driving to your destination during the late night hours or at the start of the holiday travel period when other drivers on the road may be alcohol-impaired.
For more travel safety tips or to make sure you're covered in the event of a travel emergency, contact a company like Plumer Insurance Agency.