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Driving Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving season brings food, warm family memories — and often, hours of driving. Whether you’re traveling across the country or visiting relatives in the next town, expect traffic to be heavy and other motorists to drive unsafely. Follow these driving tips from the San Jose car accident lawyers at Henshaw & Henry, PC for safe travels this Thanksgiving season.

Always Have a Designated Driver

If your Thanksgiving festivities involve alcohol, always make sure to designate a sober driver for your group. Driving under the influence causes thousands of preventable deaths every single year. You can also use ride-sharing apps or taxi services to get home after these events.

Never operate a motor vehicle after drinking – not only can this action injure and kill innocent people, but the repercussions can change your life. Punishment for DUIs include jail time, license revocation, and hefty fines. Stay safe, and don’t drink and drive.

Be Flexible

Be flexible when making your travel plans. Avoid leaving during peak rush hours, which usually falls between 2pm and 7pm. If possible, leave earlier during the week as well. Many travelers leave for their Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday. Aim to leave on Tuesday or on Thanksgiving itself.

Perform Maintenance Checks

Before embarking on your Thanksgiving journey, ensure your car is operating at peak performance. You don’t want to be in a dangerous situation because of a car malfunction or defect. Make sure to refuel your car before driving and check to make sure that these components are working properly:

Consider Other Climates

Thanksgiving brings colder weather in most of the country – especially compared to sunny California. If you’re traveling to a snowy climate, always make sure to keep up to date with weather conditions. Make sure you know about any snow travel advisories on your route.

Take Advantage of Rest Stops

Traveling long distances can wear out a driver and passengers. To keep your family happy and healthy during your drive, pull over at rest stops regularly. Here, you can stretch your legs, walk around, and get some fresh air before continuing on your drive. This will help you stay alert while driving and avoid any drowsiness-related accidents.

Practice Patience

Long distance driving can wear out a driver’s patience quickly. Heavy traffic, poor weather conditions, screaming children, and unpleasant interactions with other drivers on the road can make you feel extremely frustrated. It’s important to practice patience while driving so that your frustration doesn’t lead you to any dangerous behaviors, such as unexpected lane changes or distracted driving.

Get Good Sleep

Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than driving under the influence. Before your Thanksgiving trip, make sure to get a full night’s rest. This will keep you wide awake and alert throughout the drive, keeping you and your family safe.

Don’t Be a Distracted Driver

Being stuck in traffic or zoning out during a lengthy drive can lead to boredom. Boredom leads us to other activities – texting, talking on the phone, surfing the internet and social media, and other distracted driving behaviors. Never take your eyes off the road while you’re driving and never use your phone while driving.

Bring Emergency Supplies

You never know when you might find yourself broken down on the side of the road, stuck in a blizzard, or dealing with another travel emergency. Before your Thanksgiving trip, stock your car with supplies, in case you run into a sticky situation. Your emergency kit can include:

The injury attorneys and staff at Henshaw & Henry, PC in San Jose wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe where you travel this holiday season.