One of the only ways to completely avoid a car accident this Thanksgiving is to stay home. If your family lives several hours away, or just across town, this may not be an option. Like the majority of people in the Bakersfield area and across the country, you will probably have to climb behind the wheel and drive to your parents’ or in-laws’ home for an all-day family meal.
Before you hit the road to spend time with your loved ones during the holidays, there are some things you can do to keep you and your passengers safe. Read below for some tips to follow both before and while you are on the road.
Get your vehicle checked
If you are planning to head out of town for Thanksgiving, you should consider taking a day to drop your car off at the shop for a full maintenance check. Let your preferred mechanic check over your tires, the fluids in your car, the battery and brakes. Ensure that your car can handle the drive and the time you might have to spend idling in traffic.
Take it slow and safe
Try to maintain the speed limit as much as possible. Speeding will probably not save you any time on the drive and could result in a traffic ticket or even a wreck. Also, try to avoid staying too late at the office party the night before your departure. The last thing you want to do to is to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or suffering from a lack of sleep.
If you are traveling with others, let your passengers take charge of handling the road trip playlist, answering the phone and adjusting the thermostat. Your focus should be on the road and not trying to follow your aunt’s questionable directions or reprogramming the GPS.
Take a break
Try to find a safe place to pull over and take a break about every two hours. By taking a few minutes to stretch, you will give yourself time to recharge and refocus for the last leg of your journey.
While the above tips can help you stay safe on the road this holiday season, it might be impossible to avoid a collision with another driver that is acting in a negligent or reckless manner. If this happens, it is important to remember that you have options, such as filing a claim for injuries and damages so that you get the compensation and justice you deserve.