blog home Personal Safety Five easy ways to keep safe when traveling for Thanksgiving

Five easy ways to keep safe when traveling for Thanksgiving

By John Singleton on November 10, 2023

It’s hard to believe we’re already approaching the holiday season, and before we know it, 2023 will be in our rearview mirror.

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we appreciate Thanksgiving and all it stands for. Family is important, and we enjoy having time with loved ones and counting our blessings.

But while Thanksgiving is wonderful, it’s also a time to be extra careful about looking out for each other. With all the cars on the road, sadly, there’s always an increase in tragic accidents.

Last year, 14 traffic fatalities happened in Virginia over the long Thanksgiving weekend, according to Virginia State Police.

Thanksgiving is a good time to remind yourself and the other drivers you love (especially teen drivers) about these safe driving habits:

1. Plan your holiday travel wisely.

Effective trip planning can help you avoid many pitfalls. You can start by using traffic information to discover the least crowded routes and travel times when traffic will be the lightest. Do your best to avoid nighttime driving because visibility is better during the day, and fewer intoxicated drivers are on the road.

Plan your driving so no one has to spend too many hours behind the wheel. Plan on taking frequent breaks and rest stops – because that’s the best way to avoid fatigued driving.

When you’ve planned well, you’ll be confident you’re going to arrive on time without having to rush.

2. Get your car checked before you go.

Nobody wants to get stranded on the road during a holiday weekend. Besides being a hassle, mechanical failure can cause accidents that lead to serious injuries. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your mechanic check out your vehicle and take care of routine maintenance before you get on the road for a long trip.

Make sure your tires are properly inflated and have enough tread. Tire maintenance is especially important if you’re going to encounter snow, ice, or rainy weather. Remember to bring snow chains for your tires if you’ll be heading far north of Virginia.

Your mechanic can make sure you have enough oil, transmission fluid, and windshield washer fluid. You can check your wiper blades and make sure all your headlights, taillights, backup lights, and blinkers are working. If any of your lights need replacing, you can pick up a replacement bulb at any auto parts store and find helpful DIY videos on YouTube.

3. Then relax and follow all laws.

When you get out on the road, relax and take your time. Always follow the speed limit, don’t tailgate, and obey all traffic laws. These are the best ways to protect yourself and the people you love.

You may want to use GPS on your phone or car, even if you know exactly where you’re going. GPS will typically alert you to traffic backups, offer alternate routes, and may even reassure you by letting you know the ultimate time you will arrive at your destination, even with interruptions. This can help you relax and drive more safely.

4. Don’t drive distracted.

One of the biggest threats on the road these days is distracted driving. Having a car full of antsy kids can definitely be a distraction, so you’ll want to remind everybody before you begin to remain calm and not bother the driver.

Another major cause of distracted driving is using a cell phone. That’s why Virginia has a “hands-free” law that prohibits drivers from holding a handheld device while driving. That means no video games, email, social media, or texting while driving.

At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we have an ongoing “Texts=Wrecks” campaign and an annual scholarship to promote focused, safe driving. That’s because we see far too many people seriously injured by other drivers who check their phones while driving.

5. Don’t drive under the influence or allow friends and family to do so.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and loved ones, take active steps to avoid drunk driving. That means planning ahead so you have a designated driver, including calling a taxi or a rideshare service when you’ve had too much to drink and not allowing your guests to drive when they are intoxicated.

Who can I call if I am injured by a careless driver?

Call us at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. As personal injury lawyers, helping our friends and neighbors get the resources they need to recover after an accident is not just a job for us. Ken and I are former U.S. Marines, and we consider it our calling to work tirelessly for the justice accident victims deserve.

When you put your trust in GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. We call it our Zero Fee Guarantee.

Give us a call at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to schedule a free consultation. At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we understand what you’re going through because we’ve been there ourselves, and we bring excellence and empathy to every client.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.