Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, with millions of Americans traveling more than 50 miles away from their homes. There’s increased potential for car accidents, as everyone rushes to arrive at their destination. The following driving tips will help you travel safely to your destination this Thanksgiving.
Get your vehicle serviced
The first and most crucial step to ensuring you have a safe road trip during Thanksgiving is to get your car serviced. Don’t assume it’s in good shape. If you’re planning to drive a long distance – as opposed to your usual commute to work – ensure the following car parts are checked:
- Engine oil levels: Ensure your car’s oil change is up-to-date and that your mileage is not close to being exceeded before an oil change is required.
- Car battery: A dying or corroded car battery will sound sluggish. To avoid being stranded during your road trip, check for white chalky stuff, corrosion on the terminals, and clean it. Tighten the negative and positive leads to prevent a “voltage dump,” which can kill the alternator.
- Timing belt: Examine your vehicle’s timing belt and look for cracks, tearing, aging, and visible fiber cords by turning them sideways using your hand.
- Tire pressure and tire threads: These car parts in particular come into direct contact with the road so ensure your tire pressure is right before you leave, according to the manufacturer’s designation. Exceeding the pressure can cause a blow-out, while under-inflation will waste fuel and pose a danger.
Get enough rest
Get enough rest before hitting the road. Drowsy drivers cause most fatal car crashes in Texas so pack your luggage days before your travel date and energize yourself by eating a hearty breakfast.
If the distance is long, take turns driving with another licensed adult. Start your trip early to reach your destination on time, make stops to use the bathroom, and rest for a while. Also, if you use any medication that can cause drowsiness, hire a driver, or use public means to avoid putting you and your loved ones in harm’s way.
Observe the law and use local informational resources
Texas laws require every driver to buckle up. During the Thanksgiving holiday in particular, more patrol officers are deployed on the roads and highways so excessive speeding or driving under the influence will not only put you and your family at risk, but it will also put you on the wrong side of the law and ruin your holiday.
Additionally, pay attention to possible hazardous weather conditions by tuning into the weather report. Slow down where the roads are icy, wet, or under construction. Learn about current construction projects along roads by visiting TxDOT before starting your journey and check which highways and roads are undergoing construction.
Avoid distractions when driving
Distracted driving is becoming one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents in Texas but you can eliminate all causes of distraction by:
- Putting your phone away: Your eyes should be on the road always. Avoid texting or calling, and create a playlist in advance if you need to listen to music. Only use your phone during stops.
- Packing entertainment for kids: Children can distract you when they have nothing to do. Keep them busy and entertained by giving them fun books to read or color, snacks, games, and videos.
- Restraining your pet: If your pet is not trained on how to behave in the vehicle, put them in a safe and comfortable traveling cage with food and water.
Call an experienced Houston injury lawyer
Due to the high number of people and traffic traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday, there is a high probability that you may get into an accident even after following the above safety tips. In such a situation, contact one of our knowledgeable Houston personal injury lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP. You can also call us at (832) 844-6700 for sound legal advice at no charge to you.