As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches many people have a lot of things that need to get done. Whether you need to tidy up the house before hosting the big meal or prepare a few dishes to take to dinner elsewhere, there are probably a hundred things on your “to-do” list. Then it shouldn’t be a surprise that the roadways will be equally as busy. AAA forecasts that 38.2 million Americans will be traveling on our nation’s highways for the Thanksgiving holiday, a four percent increase from 2010.
With so many people hitting the roads, it is important to remind drivers that as you rush around on errands or prepare to make a long trip to see family, safety should be your #1 priority. Distracted driving is surely one of the major obstacles drivers will face during this busy season. Calling home to find out what’s needed at the grocery store might be important for the Thanksgiving menu, but it’s not so important that the call can’t wait until you’re safely parked in the parking lot. While the vast majority of drivers agree that using a cell phone behind the wheel is a threat to safety, many continue to exhibit a “Do as I say, Not as I do” attitude when it comes to their own behavior while driving. This attitude has to change because no phone call or text is worth the consequences.
Another issue drivers need to watch out for is drowsy driving. Many drivers will be taking long trips at odd hours of the day so it is important to watch out for signs of sleep deprivation. Nearly one-third of drivers admit having driven when they had trouble keeping their eyes open and this is even more of a concern after a large Thanksgiving meal.
So this Thanksgiving, be sure to put your cell phone down and get plenty of rest before you hit the road. Having the right kind of stuffing at the table is important but the most important ingredient to a successful Thanksgiving is the safe arrival (and departure) of the friends and family you care about. Everything after that is gravy.
Happy Thanksgiving from the AAA Foundation Family!