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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

10 Thanksgiving Driver Safety Tips

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents

Many people travel the roadways or highways over the Thanksgiving holiday to visit family or friends. In fact, according to AAA, more than 45 million Americans plan to drive 50 miles or more this year during Thanksgiving. Before you begin your journey, consider the following driver safety tips to help you and your loved ones prepare for potential challenges you may face on the road.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident on Thanksgiving due to someone else’s negligence, contact our attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away at (312) 236-2900. We can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.

1. Perform Vehicle Maintenance

It’s important to perform a maintenance check on your vehicle before you embark in order to help ensure that you reach your destination safely. Some of the things you or your mechanic should check include:

  • Tire pressure and tread depth
  • Fluid levels
  • Vehicle lights (headlights, brake lights, taillights, and turn signals)
  • Windshield wipers
  • Thermostat and heating and defrost system
  • Battery
  • Ignition system
  • Exhaust system

2. Drive Well-Rested

If your trip demands that you drive for several hours to and from your Thanksgiving holiday destination(s), you should get plenty of sleep in advance.

Driving sleep-deprived can produce the same or similar effect as driving under the influence of alcohol. It can impair your reaction time and decision-making abilities to a significant degree. If you start to feel drowsy while driving, you should pull over to a safe area as soon as possible and take a rest break. If it’s possible, allow a second driver to take over for you while you rest. If not, you should take a short nap and get out of your vehicle to walk around to breathe in some fresh air before you continue driving.

3. Check the Weather

Stay on top of the latest weather conditions up to the time of your departure. Inclement weather can affect the nature of the traffic and also the quality of the roadways for driving. Plan accordingly based on the latest weather forecast.

4. Fuel Up

Before you depart for your destination, make sure you have enough fuel in the gas tank. You should fill your tank up to the max before you leave. Having a full tank at the start will minimize any time you need to spend stopping at gas stations along the way. It can also help if you become stuck in traffic for extended periods of time.

5. Have Everyone Buckle Up

It is very important for each passenger in your vehicle to wear a seat belt. In addition, children under the designated age by law should be properly secured in a car seat.

6. Remove Snow and Ice from Your Vehicle

Snow or ice left on the roof of your vehicle while driving could cause a dangerous hazard for the vehicles traveling behind you. Be sure to remove all ice and snow from your roof, hood, back-end, and sides of your vehicle prior to traveling.

7. Bring Emergency Supplies

Be prepared for a potential accident or medical emergency. Bring an emergency kit with you that includes: a first aid kit, flashlight, blanket, tire pump, lug wrench, car jack and any other basic tools. It’s a good idea to bring some water and snacks on the trip as well.

8. Drive Patiently

With the increase of drivers traveling during the Thanksgiving weekend, you may encounter longer than normal delays and bad driving behavior at times along your route. It’s important to remain focused and drive patiently through all of these situations.

9. Avoid Driving Distracted

You should not use a cell phone and drive. If it’s necessary to make a call or send a message, allow a passenger to do so for you or pullover to the side of the road. It’s not worth placing yourself and others at risk. In addition, you should avoid these other activities while you’re driving:

  • Adjusting electronics or the radio
  • Helping the kids in the back seat
  • Chatting excessively with passengers

10. Drive Defensively

Defensive driving is an important skill to have at any time of the year. Driving defensively is a method of driving in which you continually remain aware of your surroundings and other drivers so that you can act prudently to avoid a potential accident, rather than simply reacting when it’s too late.

Injured in a Car Accident on Thanksgiving? Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence this Thanksgiving, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. right away. Our car injury lawyers have years of experience helping those who have been hurt because of someone else.

Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free consultation. We may be able to help you collect compensation.