Don't Let Heavy Traffic Take A Heavy Toll This Thanksgiving

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Persons traveling long distances for the holidays have to be cognizant of some of the dangerous situations that might crop up, especially on roads that have been beset by winter weather.  These dangers are exacerbated when you consider the high levels of traffic that are to be found on highways across the country.

In fact, traffic will be so dense that the American Trucking Associations believe that 43.4 million vehicles will be taking to our nation’s highways and interstates over the coming days.  If you plan on joining that throng of people, then you might consider the tips on hand from that same organization.

A little planning can go a long way in terms of safety.  If you’re moving from a warm weather area to somewhere that temperatures could plummet, it becomes increasingly important to conduct preventative maintenance.  The cooling system and the radiator should be seen to by a qualified mechanic, and you should top off wiper fluids so that you can clear any road grime that may accumulate on the windshield.

Planning also extends to knowing where you’re going.  We’ve all seen people cut across multiple lanes of traffic at the last second because they didn’t know what exit they were going to take.  Knowing the right turns to take carries particular import at this time of the year, as there are going to be a lot of people in unfamiliar environments.

This ties right into the idea that distraction has no place on any road, let alone on roads that are packed with holiday travelers.  If you don’t know where you’re going, that’s no excuse to look down at a map when you’re supposed to be concentrating on the road in front of you.  It doesn’t matter if the map is made of paper or can be found on your phone.  Have someone else in the vehicle who can call out directions to you, and let this same person make phone calls or place texts so that you can focus on driving.

Considering that the tips hail from the American Trucking Associations, it’s not surprising that some of the advice is geared toward staying safe around big rigs.  You must exercise extreme caution around these larger vehicles, which means staying clear of their blind spots.  Pass such vehicles quickly when moving past, and at all other times, make sure you’re within sight of the driver’s mirrors.

When you get in front of these vehicles and want to get back over, do not suddenly veer over in the lane.  The sudden movement can cause the truck driver to brake, but they can’t come to a halt as quickly as you can, and thus the threat of a rear-end collision increases, especially if you slam on the brakes.

Finally, give yourself plenty of time to arrive and avoid bad weather.  Otherwise, you could run afoul of circumstances that could lead to a tragedy.