The U.S. holiday season begins this week, with the observance of Thanksgiving, Thursday November 28th. On Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, more travelers will be either on the roads or catching planes to reach their destinations of the homes of family or friends. This time of the year brings the deadliest season of highway accidents. From Wednesday through January 1st, motorists are asked to observe MADD’s (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) campaign, “Tie One On For Safety.” Place a red ribbon on your car, or find one of their stickers at your local MADD office. This will remind other drivers to be more alert than ever during this busy time of the year. If you spot someone you suspect is drunk or under the influence of drugs, report it to the police or highway patrol. Keep your cell phone charged and if you need to call, it’s toll-free: 9-1-1. If you witness a non-emergent event, such as a car that has been stalled, instead of 9-1-1, call your state number for highway assistance. Texas is *DPS or #377. These numbers are listed by states. One source is ou.edu./oupd/highway-cell.htm.
As you begin to travel this holiday season there are a few tips you should remember to ensure a safe trip:
* Leave early in order to arrive safely without speeding
* Sleep at least seven to nine hours the night before the trip
* Stop every two hours and walk around
* Be a defensive driver and watch for fatigued or drunk drivers
* Schedule a routine maintenance check on your car before leaving (tire pressure, oil, battery, windshield wipers, etc.)
* Pack emergency equipment including first aid kits, flashlights, water, and blankets
* Be responsible and don’t drink and drive or text and drive
In addition to heavy traffic hazards, many parts of the country have deer and other wild animals lurking about. Control your speed in order to avoid hitting an animal, which can cause havoc to you, the animal, and your vehicle! Watch for them, because they don’t do a very good job of watching for you.
One holiday mistake you might make is getting carried away at holiday parties. Plan ahead that either you or one of your companions will be the designated driver. Take a cab or call someone to pick you up if you are alone and unable to drive. Remember, friends don’t let friends drive drunk. The best idea is to make up your mind that you won’t celebrate too much. You will thank yourself the next day.
Highways will be full of law enforcement officers, watching for speeders and dangerous drivers. Their work assignment is to keep our highways safe for all drivers. Make their job easier by observing the speed limits. You will save time for them, and save money for you.
As you travel, remember the reason you are even driving at all is to spend time with family and friends. They want you to arrive safely so you can spend precious time together.
Don’t be a statistic this year; be thankful you are able to enjoy the holiday season in the coming few weeks.
TEXAS AMERICA SAFETY COMPANY and BLOG4SAFETY wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and safe holiday season.