In just a few days, tens of thousands of Virginians will hit the road and make long-distance road trips to visit extended family for Thanksgiving. After all, Turkey day is the holiday most associated with travel. While auto accidents are a risk any time you get behind the wheel, the increased amount of traffic on the road beginning the day before Thanksgiving coupled with the fact that many people consume alcohol on this holiday, makes car crashes more likely.
To help you best prepare for your upcoming holiday road-tripping, we’ve put together this list of road safety tips to avoid auto accidents during Thanksgiving.
1. Don’t Drink and Drive
According to the US Department of Transportation, Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest holidays because of the increased number of people driving while under the influence of alcohol. In fact, from 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died from alcohol-related auto accidents over the Thanksgiving holiday.
While you should never drink and drive, it’s especially important to select a designated driver for Thanksgiving festivities, which are often accompanied by wine, cocktails, and spirits. Choose someone in your family to refrain from alcohol, plan to spend the night at your family’s house if you want to drink, or, if there’s no place for you to stay at your family’s house, book a nearby hotel for the night and take an Uber or Lyft to and from your Thanksgiving meal.
2. Stay Off Your Cell Phone
Being on your cell phone – especially texting and driving – can cause catastrophic accidents. But it’s understandable on a day when your kids keep asking “Are we there yet?” or your family keeps texting you for your ETA, that you may be tempted to go against your better judgement and use your phone to check a Maps app or text while you’re driving.
Just don’t do it. According to the organization End Distracted Driving, cell phone-related car crashes are underreported. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that in 2015 alone, 27% of car crashes were the result of a driver using his or her cell phone.
Instead, make a plan to be able to do things like responding to texts on the road. If someone will be riding shotgun on your road trip, give him or her your phone to reply to texts or check map apps for estimated arrival times. Also, if your car is bluetooth enabled and can pair with your cell phone, make sure to do so before you leave for your trip so you answer and make phone calls handsfree.
3. Always Wear a Seatbelt
If a car accident happens, wearing your seatbelt can save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 47% of car accident deaths in 2017 occurred when drivers or passengers weren’t properly restrained.
4. Follow All Traffic Laws
You should always obey all traffic laws, especially speed limits. This is especially important during a week when there are more cars on the road, and since you’re road tripping, you’re likely driving in an area that you don’t frequent regularly.
Keep your eye out for all speed limit signs, and drive the posted speed. Also, make sure you always use your traffic signal when you are changing lanes or turning. Following these simple steps can help prevent traffic accidents, or if you’re hit by somebody else, prove that you weren’t negligent because you were following traffic laws.
5. Download and Read our Comprehensive Guide to Virginia Auto-Accidents Before you hit the Road
When you’ve been you’ve been seriously injured in an auto accident in the state of Virginia through no fault of your own, we understand that your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and interruptions to your day-to-day life that have resulted from those injuries can take a toll on you and your family.
We created our free, comprehensive guide which shares with you everything you’ll need to know if you’ve been in an accident, including:
- How to Prepare for When a Collision Occurs
- 7 Priorities After a Car Collision
- Tips on Working with Your Car Insurance and Claims Adjusters
- How to Communicate with the Other Party’s Car Insurance Agents
- What to do When You’ve Been the Victim of a Hit and Run Accident
- Do You have a Claim? 3 Things You’ll Need…
- How a Car Wreck Case Works in Virginia
- How Much Is Your Claim Worth?
- How Long Does a Car Accident Claim Take?
- 3 Pitfalls and Traps to Watch Out For
- Where Does the Settlement Go After an Auto Accident?
- Auto Accident Questions & Answers
What to Do If Someone Crashes Into You Over Thanksgiving
If a careless driver crashes into you while you’re driving to your holiday meal through Virginia this Thanksgiving, I can help you secure a proper settlement for your accident.
This includes making sure you get your vehicle repaired, medical expenses paid, and get compensated for lost wages and pain and suffering. For car accident legal help, contact my law firm today at (703) 813-6460.