Travel safe during Thanksgiving weekend
November 26, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 26, 2009
Thanksgiving will make for a busy travel day, and the state Department of Transportation wants to keep problems to a minimum.
Calm weather could mean more drivers on highways Thanksgiving weekend. State transportation officials urged drivers to plan ahead, plan for late-November weather and pack cold-weather supplies, like tire chains.
Transportation officials also advised drivers to pack patience, because peak travel times could be met with traffic snarls on major highways.
DOT officials base travel data on typical traffic patterns, and how any traffic incidents or inclement weather could affect traffic flow. Find the most congested roadways during past holiday weekends; see historical Thanksgiving travel data here.
American Medical Response, a medical transportation company, urged drivers to keep safety in mind when taking to the highways. Before making a holiday trip, drivers should:
- Make sure the vehicle is in good condition.
- Have the vehicle serviced before the trip. Check tires, brakes, wipers, headlights, taillights, belts and hoses.
- Make sure the driver is alert at all times.
- Take frequent breaks and switch drivers every few hours.
- Avoid distractions behind the wheel. Not paying attention to the road is a leading cause of motor vehicle crashes.
- Drive with headlights on, both day and night, to make vehicles more visible.
- Holiday traffic often includes big, slow recreational vehicles. Watch for them, especially on hills and curves.
- Observe the speed limit. Do not pass in no-pass zones. Do not rush through yellow lights to beat a red light.
- Designated drivers save lives. Do not drink and drive.
- Wear a safety belt or use child-safety seat whenever the vehicle is moving, no matter how short the trip.