AAA projects 43.4 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home for the Thanksgiving. The estimated average total travel by automobile being 601 roundtrip, for the whole weekend.* (AAA 2013 Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Forecast, November 20, 2013)
You don’t need to be bombarded by statistics to remind you that the Holidays bring with them cheer as well as challenges. Crowded airports, crowded restaurants, crowded homes and, of course, crowded roads. We’d like to offer some driving tips that could help to keep the joy in the journey through this special time of year.
- Drive with purpose. No one wants to feel as if they have wasted time, especially around the Holidays. So make a list of the places you need to go and then prioritize them. This way you’ll not be racing from one end of town to the other multiple times because you forgot something (or someone) on your list.
- Drive without distractions. This time of year there are many things to distract you outside of your car. Why add to them by having distractions inside the car? Give yourself a break and set the phone aside while driving. There’s a great 99 cent app out there that allows your phone to send an automated response when you want people to know you’ll contact them back later. It allows certain numbers to be answered (in case you’re on-call). Check it out here: http://www.drivereply.net/
- Drive predictably. Believe it or not, some folks just get so wrapped up in what they are thinking or doing that they simply forget to communicate to the cars around them. Be sure to use your blinkers, and to shut them off when you’re not using them. Show your intention when you want to change lanes, turn left or right onto a street, or into a driveway. Drive the posted speed limit, cars around you expect you to do so. Stop at the correct place on the road, not in a crosswalk. At the yellow lights, stop if it safe to do so. Don’t try to “beat them”.
- Drive courteously. Follow at a safe distance using the 3-second rule. Don’t tailgate. Share the road, pick a lane and stay there. Don’t zig-zag. Remember to give the right of way when appropriate, and to go when it’s your turn to do so. Pay attention when at a signal. Don’t be the person who holds back the rest of the cars because you weren’t watching for the light to change.
- Drive defensively. Always fasten your seatbelt. Be sure your car is in good running order before travelling. Scan the roads for possible hazards. If you see a car weaving ahead of you, avoid them. Turn your headlights on when the sun begins to set. Get out of the way of aggressive drivers. Keep an emergency road kit in your car.
- Never drink and drive. Need we say anything more?????
These holiday driving tips are intended to help you to reduce the risks while on the road. We want to help you to be safe when you get behind the wheel. We hope you’ll join us in our effort to make the roads safer one driver at a time.