Americans love the Thanksgiving Holiday! It's a time for family, friends and reflection. The holiday is recognized as beginning on Wednesday at 6:00 PM and ends on Sunday at 11:59 PM. Of the millions who travel 90% will be doing so by car and sadly this is exactly the reason for my concern. Thanksgiving is the leader in number of vehicle accidents and traffic fatalities including drunk driving and surprisingly exceeds New Year's Eve alcohol related deaths by a large margin. Stay Alert!
The information here is a combination of AAA, NHTSA & Gas Buddy statistics and recommendations. Please don't become a statistic this Thanksgiving or risk injuring loved ones along the way. Driving is dangerous enough on any given day but it's magnified tremendously during these 4.25 days. Be Safe!
Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.
- Start out with a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full.
- Buckle up, slow down, don’t drive impaired. Designate a driver who won’t drink.
- Be well rested and stay alert.
- Use caution in work zones.
- Avoid distractions such as cell phones
- Observe speed limits.
- Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers.
- Be respectful of motorists and follow the rules of the road.
- Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
- Clean the vehicle’s headlights, taillights, signal lights, and windows.
- Turn your headlights on as disk approaches.
- Don’t overdrive your headlights.
- If car trouble develops, pull off the road as far as possible.
There’s nothing worse than traveling with someone who is clueless about road trip etiquette and that person could be YOU! We’ve compiled these tips to make sure you’re not the most annoying person in the car — otherwise known as a backseat turkey! And if you’re guilty of committing these backseat crimes then no worries! There’s still time to reform your ways before hitting the road this Thanksgiving!
1. Hands off the radio (or whatever you’re listening to)
The driver gets first dibs on entertainment whether it’s music, a podcast, audiobook or whatever. You can flip through a magazine, scroll on your phone or read a book. The driver can’t. So that means, they have all the control when it comes to entertainment.
2. Don’t be a trash turkey
Your car can be as messy as you want but if you’re a guest passenger, pick up the mess. Many gas stations have garbage cans to help you keep up with the trash. Even better is if you proactively bring a bag to gather all the wrappers, napkins, etc. from your snacks. There is nothing worse than ending a long drive in a car full of used water bottles.
3. Can I offer you some gum?
Buy some snacks and treats as a goodwill gesture for your travel companions. When you make a pit stop for gas, run into the convenience store and buy some gum, candy, water, etc. for the next leg of your journey. You’ll be a hero!
4. Silence is Golden
Yes, you are required to hold your own when it comes to in-car conversations but eventually, there comes a lull and that is OK! Embrace it! Not every second has to be filled with conversation. If you try to keep the conversation going for the whole ride, you’ll get on everyone’s last nerve.
5. Please. Have an opinion!
The driver has to make all sorts of decisions while driving so give them a break. If you’re asked a question, be decisive.
Driver: Do you want to stop for some food?
Driver: Which route do you think we should take?
Driver: What do you think? Should we listen to the radio or a podcast?
See where I’m going with this? Have an opinion! Saying “whatever you want” makes you think you’re being flexible and easy going but it can backfire. Seriously, just answer the question. The driver will appreciate the input.
Make this year's Thanksgiving Holiday the best ever and enjoy the ride!