MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holiday driving seasons. According to Consumer Reports, it is estimated that approximately 42 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles over the holiday weekend. If you plan to be one of these millions of Americans who will be hitting the road, here are some things to consider.
The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most dangerous driving holidays because drivers are often not only contending with traffic, but they are also dealing with poor weather conditions and may encounter drivers who may be tired or distracted, or even drunk behind the wheel. With so many risk factors present, how are drivers to keep themselves and their families safe this holiday season?
According to FEMA, before you leave home, you should always check the weather. Driving becomes more dangerous when you get behind the wheel during a snowstorm or nor’easter. If poor weather is forecast on your route, avoid getting behind the wheel. FEMA also recommends that drivers keep their gas tank above the halfway mark. When temperatures drop below freezing, condensation can freeze fuel lines in empty gas tanks. The last thing you want is to end up stranded during freezing weather.
Before heading out for holiday travel, be sure to pack an emergency kit in your car. This should include a blanket, snacks, flashlights, a first aid kit, water, a phone charger or extra batteries, ice scraper, and pet food (if you plan to travel with your pet). If you are traveling with your pet, you’ll also want to consider how your pet will be restrained in the vehicle. In New Jersey, it is illegal to drive with an unrestrained pet in your car, and in general, it is not a good idea, because a loose pet can be a danger to drivers and to itself. Your pet could run on your gas pedal or brakes, or become a projectile in the event of a crash. When packing your car for long-distance travel, you might also want to consider your vehicle’s load limits and the impact that heavier loads in your car might have on your tires and handling. Having had your tires for a long time may also have a greater impact on how they will perform on long journeys and with any added weight that your car is set to have, it could affect how they perform. That is why you should plan on seeing a professional at an auto repair shop before you start traveling as you don’t want them to fail halfway through your journey. For example, if you have a Volkswagen, you may want to take it to somewhere like this German auto repair in Norcross for any necessary tire maintenance. They will also be able to advise you on other aspects of your car to ensure that it performs to its maximum potential and is able to keep you safe during the holidays.
In the week before you travel to see family and loved ones, you may also want to take your car in for a tune up. Check antifreeze, brakes, lights, windshield wiper fluid, and air tire pressure. You’ll also want to make sure your car heater is in working order before you leave home.
Finally, plan your route ahead of time, or have a family member navigate. The last thing you want is to get distracted behind the wheel while you are figuring out which way to go. Be patient and expect to encounter traffic during holiday travel, so be sure to give yourself sufficient time when heading out.
The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino are personal injury lawyers in Minneapolis, Minnesota who wish you safe holiday travels. Our law firm understands firsthand the challenges families sometimes face when unexpected accidents occur during busy travel seasons. Should you encounter any difficulties and have questions about insurance claims or your rights, visit our firm at https://www.martinmontilino.com/ to learn more.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320