Roughly 40 million Americans will hit the road to begin their Thanksgiving travel this holiday season.

In the United States, motor vehicle fatalities contribute to one of the leading causes of death. In 2019 alone, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes. The significant increase in automobiles sharing the road makes Thanksgiving weekend some of the deadliest days to be driving.

Here are five tips to help you stay safe during your travels this holiday season.

1. Plan Ahead

Preparation is crucial for Thanksgiving travel. As you plan to hit the road, watch weather reports and avoid driving if extreme weather conditions are forecasted. Additionally, note that Wednesday afternoon is the most congested time to travel during the holiday.

In addition to planning your time, it is important to prepare your car for long-distance travel. Be sure to pack an emergency kit and perform basic car maintenance tasks beforehand, such as:

  • Check tire pressure
  • Replace worn out wiper blades
  • Check fluid levels
  • Test your car battery

2. Keep Your Eyes on the Road

Distracted driving accounts for nearly eight percent of traffic deaths annually. Since roads are busier during Thanksgiving weekend, there are more drivers who are distracted. Protect yourself by avoiding texting while driving, checking your GPS, or taking your eyes off the road for any reason.

3. Avoid Risks

Drive smart and avoid taking risks as you travel over Thanksgiving weekend. For example:

  • Leave early so you won’t feel the need to make dangerous moves in order to get to your destination on time.
  • Do not cut in front of large trucks.
  • Beware of blind spots as you change lanes.
  • Slow down and leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Completely clear away any ice and snow from your windshield.

4. Buckle Up

Buckling your seat belt is one of the easiest ways you can stay safe on congested roads. The simple act of buckling your seat belt increases your chance of surviving a crash by 45 percent. Make sure children are properly buckled and are in the right seats for their ages and sizes as well.

5. Drive Sober

Thanksgiving is associated with a spike in drunk driving. Keep yourself safe this year by driving sober, and always appoint a designated driver if you plan to consume alcohol. If you cannot find a designated driver, use public transportation, a taxi, a ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to ensure that you get home safely. Also, contact local law enforcement if you see an impaired driver on the road.

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is Here For You this Holiday Season

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident during your Thanksgiving travel, Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton is here to help. Our automobile accident attorneys have spent over 25 years assisting Utah citizens and can help you handle the aftermath of your case.

We have offices in Orem, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan, Utah. Schedule your free case evaluation today.