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Safety Tips for the Thanksgiving Traveler
The consumer advocacy publication Consumer Reports provides the following tips for safe Thanksgiving travel.
- Make sure you have a full tank of gas before you head out. In addition, check your fluids and your tire pressure before you leave.
- Don’t leave home without an emergency preparedness kit. It should include a flashlight, blanket, first aid kit, some basic tools, water, snacks and anything else you might need in a roadside emergency.
- Don’t overload your car by packing too much. Most cars have their maximum load posted on a sticker inside the driver’s door. This weight limit includes all the passengers and cargo.
- Make sure you pack properly so that your cargo will not be a hazard.
- Use a portable or built-in GPS system to get where you are going and to help you find restaurants, gas stations and even lodging along the way. Some devices can warn of roadway congestion and accidents in your path. Don’t rely solely on your GPS, however, as they can make errors. Always have maps and other appropriate navigation resources in your car.
- Pack plenty of snacks, water, games, videos and music to keep children occupied during a long trip.
- Properly secure any pets you are traveling with. They can be a distraction when you are driving, and they can also be a physical threat to you and themselves if you get in an accident.
- A lot of people will be traveling for the holiday. Expect travel delays and be patient!
- Avoid distractions like cell phones, eating, pets or loud music. If you have to make a call or send a text, pull off to the side of the road.
- Always use your seatbelt and make sure that all of your passengers are properly buckled up as well.
- Know the weather forecast for your journey and be prepared for inclement weather. In wintry weather, clear off snow and ice from your vehicle before heading out, allow for longer breaking distances and reduce your speed.
Thanksgiving travel would be much safer if we all slowed down, remained patient and followed some basic safety precautions. Remember that not everyone will be as safe as you are, so your best offense is a good defense. Practice defensive driving at all times.