Travel Safety Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

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Thanksgiving Travel Safety Tips

by Tim O’Hare

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Gas is the cheapest it has been since 2008, and airline tickets cost 10 percent than they did at this time last year, and that means more Americans are traveling this holiday season. According to the AAA Travel forecast, nearly 47 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving. The majority of those (about 90 percent) will be on the roads, driving to and from their destinations.

With so many people on the roads this Thanksgiving season, the potential for car accidents is high. Don’t let a car accident ruin your Thanksgiving holiday. Here are a few holiday travel safety guidelines to help ensure the safety of you and your family.

Check your vehicle fluid levels, battery and fill up with gas before leaving. Proper car maintenance and a full tank of gas can go a long way to ensure you don’t become stranded during your travels.

Gather an emergency supply kit. Be prepared with emergency supplies in case of an accident, breakdown or medical emergency. A basic emergency kit should include a flashlight, blanket, first-aid kit, tools and bottled water.

Avoid stopping on the shoulder. Many accidents occur when drivers become stranded on the side of the highway. If your vehicle breaks down or you are in an accident, remember your safety is paramount. If possible, pull your car completely off of the road. If you must stop on the shoulder, all vehicle occupants should exit the vehicle on the side opposite oncoming traffic and wait for help as far back from the road as possible. Turn on your hazard lights and set up safety triangles behind and next to your vehicle to warn other drivers.

Recognize “Move Over” laws. Keep your eyes out for other drivers who may be stranded. If you see a vehicle on the side of the road, slow down and move over.

Don’t overload your vehicle. Your car has a specified weight limit. Check the load capacity on your car, which is typically printed on a label inside the driver’s side door, to be sure you aren’t overloading your vehicle with luggage and passengers.

Don’t drive distracted. Drinking and driving, as well as texting while driving are leading causes of accidents nationwide. Drivers who text while driving are four times more likely to be in a car accident. Keep your focus on the road.

Avoid late night driving. Nighttime makes it more difficult to see the road as well as other traffic. Plan your holiday trip to avoid traveling at night.

Drive in the right lane. Sticking to the right lane can save your life from drunk drivers, and wrong-way drivers alike. Often times drunk drivers drift out of their lane or into oncoming traffic. The further you are to the right of the road, the better your chances of avoiding being side swiped or hit head-on by a drunk driver.

If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed as the result of a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas/Ft. Worth personal injury attorney.

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