Thanksgiving is only a few days away. It’s expected more then 43.6 million Americans will head home for the holiday. Despite the tight economy more and more people are making a point to be with family and friends during the holiday season. About 90% of theses travelers will choose to drive. Slightly more people will be traveling during this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, according to AAA’s Thanksgiving travel forecast.
AAA projects 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, an increase of 0.7 percent from the 43.3 million people who traveled last year. This marks the fourth consecutive year of increasing numbers of holiday travelers since 2008, when holiday travel fell by 25 percent. (More Travelers on the Road this Thanksgiving)
If you are one of these Americans driving home, here are a few safety tips that can save your life and make it happy Thanksgiving for all.
- Plan your route and an alternate. Even with GPS systems, it’s easy to get lost and confused if you’re driving in unfamiliar territory.
- Designate a navigator. Heavy traffic or poor weather conditions are no time to be fumbling with a cell phone.
- Gas up the car, check fluid levels, tire inflation and window cleaner reservoirs the day before you travel.
- Get a good night’s sleep before you travel. If you’re feeling drowsy on a long haul, pull over and take a 20-minute nap.
- Schedule regular stops every couple of hours. Get out of the car and stretch your legs for a few minutes before continuing.
- Allow an extra hour or two of travel time to compensate for traffic and weather delays. Nobody will complain if you arrive early.
- Don’t slack off on safety rules. Young kids need to be in properly installed car seats and everyone has to wear a seat belt.
- Drive with your lights, even in daytime. It increases your visibility.
- If possible, plan your trip to leave on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and return on the Saturday or Monday after. You’ll miss the heavy traffic on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
- Number 1 Thanksgiving safe driving tip: Please don’t drink and drive.
You can read more Thanksgiving Safety Tips in our post on Thanksgiving Cooking Tips