The Thanksgiving holiday is next week, and for many of us, that means gathering around the table with loved ones. Millions of Americans travel by car to spend the holiday with their loved ones every year. Although most of us will spend the holiday laughing, eating, and creating memories, thousands will be involved in devastating car accidents. Many accidents are preventable, and taking some time to prepare for your trip can help you and yours stay safe over Thanksgiving and throughout the holidays:
Top off your gas tank. Being stranded in the middle of nowhere can be dangerous, particularly when the weather is cold. Make sure you have plenty of gas before you leave and keep an eye on your tank gauge throughout your trip.
Pack the necessities. If you are bringing kids, make sure to pack enough snacks, water, and entertainment. It can be dangerous if there are icy road conditions and you need to frequently stop for food or rest breaks for children who are traveling with you.
Keep pet safety in mind. If you are bringing pets, secure them with a seatbelt harness or place them in a crate. Animals often travel around the cabin when loose in the car, which can be distracting and dangerous. Make sure you have enough food and water for them in case you are stranded along the road.
Leave your cell phone alone. You should carry a fully charged cell phone and a charger with you, in case you get in an accident or experience car trouble. Put your phone in a place where you will not be tempted to use it while driving. If you need to make a call or send a text, either give it to a passenger to handle for you or pull over.
Buckle up! This goes not only for the driver, but for every passenger in the car. Children under the age of 13 should sit in the back seat of the vehicle whenever possible. Make sure all infants and toddlers are safely and properly secured in their car seat. Young ones in car seats should not be wearing heavy coats, as it can interfere with the safety of the device.
Pack your car for emergencies. Include an emergency kit in your trunk with a flashlight, blankets, first aid kit, flares, tools, bottled water, and non-perishable food items.
Bring a fully charged GPS navigation system. Most people have a GPS app on their smartphones. These devices can also help you locate gas stations and warn you of traffic problems. Certain sophisticated devices can also help emergency services locate your vehicle in the event of a problem.
Obtain a good night’s sleep the night before you travel.Fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. If you are too tired to drive, ask someone else to drive for you.
Do not over load your vehicle with cargo. This can make your car, truck, or SUV act erratically and unpredictably and can put unnecessary wear on your tires. It is also advised to keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared.
Mercer County Car Accident Lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC Represent Victims Injured in Car Accidents