As we approach Thanksgiving, a time for gratitude and family gatherings, it’s crucial to remember safety on the roads. In Springfield, Missouri, and across the nation, this holiday season witnesses some of the busiest travel days of the year. Tragically, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 9,560 fatal crashes in the last quarter of 2021, a stark reminder of the importance of road safety. While you road trip this season to be with family, keep these safe driving practices in mind.
Safe Driving Practices
Thanksgiving travel often means congested roads and potentially hazardous driving conditions. To ensure you and your loved ones stay safe, consider these tips:
- Avoid Distractions: Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents. The Missouri State Highway Patrol emphasizes the dangers, noting that distracted driving caused over 15,000 crashes in Missouri in 2020.
- Drive Sober: Alcohol-impaired driving spikes during holidays. The NHTSA found that 28% of the total traffic fatalities in 2020 were due to drunk driving.
- Adapt to Weather: With unpredictable November weather, adjust your driving to the conditions.
Road Trip Preparation
Proper preparation can make your Thanksgiving journey smoother and safer. Remember to:
- Check Your Vehicle: Ensure your car is in good working order. Tire failures alone caused 738 deaths in 2017, according to the NHTSA.
- Plan Your Route: Knowing your route can reduce stress and last-minute decisions that lead to accidents. Using Google maps to show accidents or roadwork ahead will keep you informed of any stops or slowdowns.
Awareness of Potential Hazards
The holiday season brings unique challenges:
- Increased Traffic: More vehicles on the road mean a higher risk of collisions. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that long-distance travel increases by 54% during Thanksgiving.
- Fatigue: Long drives can lead to driver fatigue, a factor in approximately 100,000 crashes annually, per the NHTSA.
As we gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s prioritize safety on the roads. At The Morrissey Law Firm, we care about your wellbeing and encourage you to follow these safety tips for a joyful and accident-free holiday. For more information on safe driving practices or if you need legal assistance, contact us today.