Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of the year on roads in North Carolina and across the country. Millions of people will be travelling to spend time with their loved ones. Car accidents increase during this time of year due to the sudden increase in motorists. It takes preparation to reduce the chances of a car accident during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Steps you could take to improve your safety include:
- Getting a good night’s sleep: Drowsiness is a major cause of car accidents regardless of the time of the year. Try to get seven to eight hours of restful sleep the night before your trip. If you can, try to avoid drinking any alcohol as it can reduce sleep quality. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications may cause the same problems, so you should have a conversation about this potential risk with your doctor before travelling.
- Getting a vehicle check-up: Your vehicle should be in good shape before using it for long-distance travel. This is especially true if you are driving during cold weather. Depending on the weather conditions and where you are driving, icing on the roads may be a possible hazard. During a vehicle check-up, you may have a licensed mechanic check your tires, battery, fluid levels, windshield wipers, brakes and engine.
- Checking the weather beforehand: If you are able, you should avoid setting out on a day where bad weather is expected. Thunderstorms, icing and heavy rain can make driving extremely dangerous and will increase the risk of a car accident.
- Avoiding distracted driving: Please avoid using your phone behind the wheel. We recently published a blog discussing smartphone apps that may help reduce the temptation to use your phone while driving. The Thanksgiving holiday weekend may be a good time to test these apps if you have not already. Eating, grooming and fidgeting with the radio can also take your eyes off the road and increase the risk of an accident.
- Being careful driving through work zones: If you are driving long-distance to visit relatives, then it is highly likely that you will pass through one or more work zones. When you do drive through these areas, slow down and remain as attentive as possible. You are more likely to collide with other vehicles, debris or roadside workers while passing through these areas.
In addition to the tips discussed in today’s blog, you should also always wear a seatbelt and practice basic safe driving techniques. For example, never tailgate other motorists and avoid speeding. Never drive under the influence of alcohol for any reason.
What if I’m In an Auto Accident Over the Thanksgiving Weekend?
You can still be involved in an accident even if you follow these tips. Other motorists who engage in dangerous driving may put you and your loved ones at risk while traveling during the holiday weekend. If you are involved in an accident, then you should contact our North Carolina car accident lawyers to discuss the situation.
At Riddle & Brantley, LLP, Safety Counts.