In our last post we discussed the fact that Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous times of the year for drivers. This week sees an increased number of people on the road and higher-than-normal numbers of car accidents. The auto club AAA says that 43.6 million Americans are going to travel distances greater than 50 miles today and tomorrow. This is up from 43.3 million the year before.
There are several things that drivers can do to remain safe this weekend including remaining attentive the entire time they are driving to their family gatherings.
“Everyone should pay attention and keep their eyes on the road to make sure they can respond quickly if they come upon a disabled vehicle,” said Gerry Gutowski, Sr. Vice President, Automotive Services, for the Auto Club Group.
Disabled vehicles are common during this busy travel weekend. Many of the most serious highway traffic accidents occur when a disabled vehicle is struck by an inattentive driver. Drivers whose cars become disabled should pull over to the far right shoulder and turn on their hazard lights.
“When you are stranded on the roadside in oncoming traffic, some practices are safer than others,” Gutowski said. “Regardless of if you are in a car crash or your car breaks down while you are driving, there are important actions you can take to help protect you and other occupants in your vehicle.”
Vehicles with non-functioning hazard lights should be evacuated, if it is safe to do so. Vehicle occupants should wait as far from the vehicle as possible in case it gets struck. Try to stand on a sidewalk or behind a guard rail until help arrives.
Parents with teen drivers should also remind their children of common sense driving safety measures such as wearing seat belts, obeying the speed limit and avoiding driving during inclement weather.