From all of us here at Michles & Booth, we want to wish everyone a safe and happy thanksgiving holiday.
Thanksgiving week is often considered to be the busiest week of the year for travelers, and 2012 is no different. According to the recently released report from the american automobile association (AAA), over 43 million travelers are expected to hit the roads, airports, and rails this holiday. Often times these travelers are driving long distances on very little rest, and it is important we take extra care when driving this week. From 2006 to 2010, there were an average of 44 car accident fatalities across Florida with over 40% of those fatalities involving alcohol according to the Florida department of transportation. Knowing that, every driver on the road has to do their part to ensure we all reach our destination safe this holiday season.
On the road
In Florida, the highway patrol has announced heavier patrolling of interstate roads to combat impaired, careless, and reckless driving. Most holiday travelers get to where they are going by car, and to help you arrive safely, the red cross recommends these safety steps for travelers driving visit their loved ones this thanksgiving:
1. Make sure the vehicle is in good working order.
2. Start out with a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full.
3. Buckle up, slow down and don’t drive impaired. Designate a driver who won’t drink.
4. Get rest to insure you’re alert for your trip.
5. Use caution in work zones.
6. Give full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
7. Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase the chance of being in a collision.
8. Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If the driver is tired, stop and get some rest.
9. Be respectful of other motorists, and follow the rules of the road.
10. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
11. Clean your vehicle’s headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows.
12. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or if using windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
13. Don’t overdrive the headlights.
14. If car trouble develops, pull off the road as far as possible.
The red cross also recommends that drivers keep an emergency preparedness kit in the vehicle in the case of an accident, unexpected delay, or other emergency situation. The red cross recommends you always keep water, snacks, a flashlight, first aid kit, extra cash and blankets in your car. Another type of “emergency” we see every day can be when there is a dangerous driver or an accident on the highway. Expect to see DUI checkpoints and an increased police presence on the roads this holiday season. These officers will be on the lookout for any careless drivers and you can expect there to be accidents and delays. Remember, Florida requires drivers to move over for law enforcement and emergency vehicles! If you do not pull over or slow down, you endanger these emergency personnel, and can receive a ticket or be required to appear in court.
Always remember to be careful on the roads this holiday season, and to keep a careful eye out for drivers who may not be using the same care as you. It is always better to slow down and take breaks from the drive than to push yourself. An accident or a ticket will cost your more than arriving a few minutes late. And again, from all of us here at Michles & Booth, we wish you a happy and safe holiday!