Thanksgiving weekend is a heavy travel time throughout the U.S. As the number of motorists on the nation’s roadways increases, so does the risk of being involved in a car accident.
The experienced Knoxville car accident attorneys of Greg Coleman Law want your family to stay safe while on the roads this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. If you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver during your Thanksgiving travel, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In order to help avoid potential auto accidents this Thanksgiving holiday, follow the travel tips outlined below:
Plan Ahead and Be Flexible
Planning your travel route ahead of your trip is helpful for many reasons. Prior planning will help you:
- Avoid traveling during peak hours, keeping clear of heavy traffic and traffic-related delays
- Identify construction and hazards that could cause delays
- Allot enough time to reach your destination safely and on time
Remember to be flexible as you plan your trip. Accidents, traffic delays and inclement weather could pop up at any time. Before you leave, identify alternate routes so you can easily make adjustments to your travel schedule if necessary. Using a GPS system can help you easily identify alternate routes or stops along your journey.
Schedule a Vehicle Maintenance Checkup
Before setting out on a car trip, make sure your vehicle is in good condition and can make the drive safely. Have your vehicle serviced by a professional or check the vehicle’s:
- Fluid levels and add fluid if needed
- Headlights, brake lights and turn signals
- Windshield wipers and replace if necessary
- Tire pressure and tread
- Thermostat, heating system and defrost
- Brake system
- Battery and ignition system and test them to make sure they are functioning properly
- Exhaust system to ensure it is working properly
Check the weather before setting out, as bad weather is a possibility over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. If you encounter snow, ice or rain, keep your windows and windshield clear to improve visibility, give yourself extra time and distance to make stops and drive at a reduced speed.
In case of an accident or breakdown, pack your vehicle with supplies such as:
- Backup battery and charger for cellphones
- Jumper cables
- Emergency radio
- Ice scraper
- Cat litter to improve tire traction
- First aid kit
- Prescription medications
- Water and snacks
- Basic tools
- Pet supplies, if applicable
If you subscribe to a roadside assistance plan, keep the organization’s contact information on-hand in case of a breakdown.
Avoid running out of gas on your trip by topping off your tank when you stop and always keeping your gas tank more than one-fourth full.
Take Rest Breaks
Driver fatigue can lead to drowsy driving, causing impairment equal to driving under the influence of alcohol.
Taking rest breaks throughout your drive will help you stay alert and avoid fatigue. Also, consider stepping out of the car and walking around or getting some fresh air. Additionally, ask another capable driver to take over driving if you need to take a break.
If you are driving alone and feel fatigued, pull off the roadway to a safe location and take a short 15 to 20-minute nap before resuming your drive.
Because of the increased number of motorists on the roadway, it is likely you will encounter heavy traffic and delays at some point on your Thanksgiving drive.
It is important to be patient as you face these problems and to stay level-headed. Driver frustration can lead to dangerous driving behaviors such as tailgating and speeding.
Avoiding distractions is key to preventing accidents this holiday season. Stay safe by minimizing distractions while behind the wheel.
Distractions to be avoided while driving include:
- Conversations with passengers
- Setting the radio
- Eating or drinking while driving
Never Drink and Drive
If you consume alcohol at your Thanksgiving gathering, do not get behind the wheel after drinking. Drunk driving accidents are typically higher during the holidays.
Designate a sober driver to take you home following a holiday gathering where alcohol is consumed, or arrange to stay at the party’s location until you are sober.
Contact Our Knoxville Lawyers Today
Although there are many steps you can take to improve your safety while on the road this holiday season, not all accidents can be avoided. If you were injured in an auto accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Knoxville personal injury attorneys of Greg Coleman Law work to secure the compensation our clients deserve. We will investigate your claim and fight to hold the at fault driver accountable for the damages you have suffered because of his or her negligence.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis only. You will only owe legal fees if we recover compensation for your claim.