Thanksgiving is a holiday for love, warmth, and sharing. It heralds the beginning of the holiday season and is a popular time for family and friends to come together to celebrate. One of the easiest ways for families to get together is by car. Roadway travel begins to surge around the Thanksgiving holiday as millions of people hit the road to take advantage of the long weekend.
Yet, when more people crowd the roadways, the chance of being involved in a significant car accident increases. According to statistics from the National Safety Council, between 400 and 600 people die on U.S. roads during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
How can you avoid Virginia Beach accidents during the busy Thanksgiving holiday? Mike Deering has some holiday travel tips.
Stay Sober – Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest holidays for drivers. This statistic is due in large part because of drunk driving accidents. Drunk driving is such a problem during the holiday that the U.S. Department of Transportation identified a cultural phenomenon they call “Blackout Wednesday.” This “event” encourages people to consume large amounts of alcohol over the holiday.
Are you planning a Thanksgiving celebration? Designate a sober driver to help family and friends make it home safely. If you are hosting this year’s event, ensure your guests have a safe place to stay or book a taxi or ridesharing service so they can make it home or to a hotel.
Avoid Distractions – Excited friends and family may call your phone and send you messages as they anxiously anticipate your arrival. Resist the temptation to use your phone while behind the wheel. Distracted driving is a major cause of significant holiday accidents. Keep your phone in the backseat or glovebox while you are driving. Program your GPS unit before you pull out of the driveway, and avoid eating or drinking while on the road.
Practice Patience – Hitting the road over a holiday weekend can be an aggravating experience. Traffic jams and crowded roadways can turn a leisurely excursion into an anger-fueled nightmare. Try to exercise patience as you navigate busy Virginia roadways. Avoid aggressive driving behaviors like speeding, tailgating, and cutting off other drivers. Pack activities for kids and bring along your favorite music or podcasts to help pass the time.
If you are worried about traffic, try to schedule your travel on “off” days. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Saturday and Sunday after tend to be the busiest travel days. If possible, consider traveling on the Tuesday before the holiday or the Monday after.
Get Plenty of Rest – Before you travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, try to get plenty of rest. Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving while drunk. Fatigue dulls the senses and slows your reflexes. It also affects your judgment. Get an entire night’s rest before you leave for the holiday. If you feel tired on your journey, find a safe place to pull over and take a nap.
Don’t Rush – You may be eager to start the holiday weekend, but don’t rush to your destination. Recent statistics from the Virginia Highway Safety Office show 22,479 speed-related crashes occurring in one year. Drive cautiously and stick to the posted speed limit. It is better to arrive late than not at all.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney for Help
You may follow all the rules this holiday season and still find yourself in the frightening position of being involved in an accident. Injured by a careless driver? Contact Deering Hedrick for help. Mike Deering can help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve. For a confidential case evaluation, contact Deering Hedrick today at 757-383-6848.