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Safe Driving Over The Thanksgiving Holiday

Craig McClellan

This year, nearly 39 million people hit the roads between Wednesday, November 27 and Sunday, December 1. The sharp increase in the number of people traveling will likely lead to an increase in serious car accidents. We know that keeping your family safe is your top priority this holiday season (that, and not burning the turkey), so our San Diego car accident attorneys have put together some helpful tips for keeping your car and your driving habits in top shape. After all, car maintenance and effective planning are crucial components behind any successful road trip.

Thanksgiving Road Trip Safety Tips

The average Thanksgiving holiday road trip covers 600 miles. For many drivers, it will be the longest single trip taken all year. This can prove challenging in terms of exhaustion and distraction behind the wheel. Traveling may also include changes to your diet or sleep patterns that leave you far from peak condition.

Don’t be a turkey. Follow these tips for safe driving:

  1. Get some shut-eye. By shut-eye, we mean sleep. Don’t depend on caffeinated beverages to push you to through the woods to grandmother’s house. Chances are, your mind (and car) will wander.
  2. Stop and smell the roses. Take a break! Every few hours pull over and stretch. Let the kids run around and expel some holiday energy. You’ll thank us when they sleep the rest of the way.
  3. Have a co-pilot. If possible, switch driving shifts with a trusted passenger. You can all take turns manning the directions, keeping the snacks handy, and checking on the driver.
  4. Fuel up often. The fun thing about road trips is that half the time, you don’t know quite where you are. You also don’t know where gas stations are. Fill up when you hit a quarter tank, not E.
  5. Stop, lock, and park it. Stopping at a gas station? A hotel? Keep your valuables out of sight and locked neatly away in a glove compartment or the trunk of your car.

By following these tips, as well as other givens such as utilizing safety belts and refraining from alcohol usage, your trip can become exponentially safer for you and your loved ones.

Pre-Road Trip Car Maintenance Tips

If you are aware of a maintenance issue with your vehicle, a lengthy holiday trip is not the best idea. If you cannot have proper maintenance performed to ensure your vehicle is in safe working condition, you should postpone or cancel long driving trips. Crowded roads are not the best place for a vehicle to break down.

Make sure it’s all gravy when it comes to your vehicle with these pointers:

  • Check your fluids. Change your engine oil, check the antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer reservoir. Anything liquid? Check it out before driving.
  • Look for irregularities. Any weird noises or “little hiccups” should be examined before the trip.
  • Test the tires. Check the pressure of all your tires, and don’t forget the spare! If necessary, get the tires aligned and balanced. You should be choosing where you drive, not your car.
  • Replace the battery. If the battery is starting to slow, give your car the holiday gift of a new one! Typically, a battery will last from two to five years.
  • Have working support. Accidents still happen. Make sure all your vehicle tools, such as the jack, are still in working order. No one wants a flat tire in the middle of nowhere with nothing to help.

Defensive driving behavior and proper car maintenance could help you successfully get through your holiday road trip. However, in case an accident still does occur, talk to your San Diego personal injury lawyers at The McClellan Law Firm. We are committed to ensuring your safety and comfort before and after an accident occurs. Contact us today for legal advice and aggressive representation.