With the American Automobile Association (AAA) forecasting that more than 48 million drivers will clog America’s roads and highways this Thanksgiving weekend, Road Safe America urges extreme caution on the Sunday after Thanksgiving – which statistics show is often the busiest highway travel day of the year.
“We started Drive Safer Sunday 14 years ago to call attention to the deadly situation on our nation’s highways that day, when so many people are returning home after Thanksgiving visits with family or friends,” said Steve Owings, co-founder along with his wife, Susan, of the highway-safety-focused non-profit Road Safe America.
“Please, remind your students returning to colleges and universities by car of the highway perils that day. Our son Cullum was killed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2002 when his car – stopped in an interstate traffic jam – was crushed from behind by a speeding tractor trailer.”
Road Safe America reminds those traveling during Thanksgiving to:
- Get plenty of rest before operating a vehicle and take frequent breaks to remain alert.
- Be attentive to dangers inside and outside of their car.
- Consider driving during off-peak travel hours to avoid congestion.
- Avoid unnecessary distractions behind the wheel, including loud sound systems and the use of any hand-held devices.
- Give large trucks plenty of room since they can’t see as well, maneuver as quickly, or stop in the same distance as passenger vehicles can in an emergency.
THANKS TO SENATORS ISAKSON, PERDUE AND COONS
U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga. were joined by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., in introducing a Drive Safer Sunday resolution in the Senate again this year, which passed unanimously on November 15.
“On behalf of the traveling public, Road Safe America offers its sincere thanks to Senators Isakson, Perdue, Coons and the entire U.S. Senate for taking this action to raise public awareness about the increased risks on our streets, roads and highways the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Our hope is that the national observance of Drive Safer Sunday will reduce crashes nationwide and help everyone travel to and from their destinations safely.”
To help have a safe holiday road trip, GEICO has the following tips for travelers.
- Check tire pressure: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA) one in four cars have at least one tire that’s underinflated. Driving with tires at the incorrect pressure can cause a blowout risk. Look on the sidewall of the tire, or the label in the driver’s side doorjamb of the car to see what the correct pressure is for your car’s tires.
- Inspect wipers and washer fluid: Worn wiper blades smear water on the windshield, making visibility more limited. Also, consider topping off your vehicle’s windshield washer fluid reservoir so you can clear the windshield whenever necessary.
- Fill up the gas tank: It helps to start a road trip with a full tank of gas since traffic conditions are often unpredictable, and delays can occur at any point.
Tips while driving
- Stick with the speed limit: With the increase in holiday traffic, it’s important to take it easy out there and remember to drive defensively.
- Stay focused: Ask passengers to handle tasks like programming GPS destinations and setting up playlists. Always set phones to silent or do not disturb mode so notifications don’t become distracting.
- Take breaks: Trying to push through hundreds of miles of driving in one sitting can lead to drowsiness, which slows reaction times and makes it hard to focus.