Thanksgiving is a time when we gather with friends and family to celebrate that for which we’re thankful, but it’s also a time to practice caution. When you’re traveling this Thanksgiving, keep in mind the added risks associated with the holiday. By following the simple tips outlined here, you can reduce the likeliness of becoming another Thanksgiving statistic.
Thanksgiving Travel Tips
There are more drunk drivers on the road the night before Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. There are a few reasons for this. Thanksgiving is one of the only times of year when those who have moved away from their hometowns return. They may meet at bars to catch up with old friends who have also dispersed around the country.
If you are going to be traveling the night before Thanksgiving, it is imperative that you engage in defensive driving and understand that other drivers on the road may have been drinking. Keep a safe following distance, pay extra close attention when approaching intersections, and stay extra vigilant when you’re driving around other motorists.
If you’re going out to meet up with friends at a bar or party the night before Thanksgiving, you should secure a designated driver, call a taxi, or offer to be the designated driver to ensure a safe trip for all involved.
The day before Thanksgiving isn’t the only dangerous day on the road. With many drivers who are unfamiliar with their surroundings populating the roads, the whole week presents added dangers while traveling by car. Thanksgiving night has a 20% increase in traffic accidents, Black Friday has a 34% increase, and the Sunday after Thanksgiving has the highest number of out-of-state accidents of the week.
The following tips can help you avoid having an accident:
- If you’re going to be drinking, be sure to get a designated driver or hire a taxi.
- Consider traveling home the Monday after Thanksgiving. There is a dramatic reduction in the number of accidents on that day than the week leading up to it.
- If you can’t wait until Monday to travel home, there are 17% fewer accidents on Saturday than on Sunday.
- Maintain safe following distances.
- Be extra vigilant when approaching intersections.
- Don’t drive aggressively.
- Give yourself extra time to reach your destination to account for traffic and the possibility of getting lost.
For many people, Black Friday is just as much a part of the holiday as Thanksgiving Day itself. The parking lots of major retailers are often packed and present accident risks of their own. If you’re going shopping on Black Friday, follow these tips to reduce the likeliness of leaving the store to find your car damaged in the parking lot.
- Avoid diagonally positioned spaces. There is an increased risk of being sideswiped in diagonally positioned spaces in comparison to straight spaces.
- Don’t park at the end of aisles. Cars parked on the end of aisles are more likely to be involved in an accident due to additional exposure to turning vehicles.
- To prevent dings and dents, park further away from the entrance of the store where you’re less likely to come in contact with other cars’ doors and shopping carts.
- Be careful when pulling in and out of parking spaces.
Beyond the dangers of traveling the week of Thanksgiving, there are also precautions you should take if you’re going to be out of town for several days. If you’re going to be away from home for more than a day, use the following checklist to make sure your house is protected while you’re gone.
- Shut off all appliances before leaving.
- Turn off the water to your hoses.
- If you live in a cold weather area, wrap your outside pipes to keep them from freezing.
- Make sure all of your important documents are locked in a fireproof safe.
- Don’t post on social media that you’re leaving town. Burglars often turn to social media to see who will and won’t be home.
- Set your lights to timers. This gives the impression that someone is home.
- Close and lock all doors and windows.
- If you have a burglar alarm, set it before leaving.
With just a little preparation and patience, you can dramatically lower the likeliness of becoming a Thanksgiving statistic. To make sure that your home and car are covered in the event of an accident during the holiday, please contact your Yetter insurance agent by calling (570) 296-8329 or visit http://yetterins.com/