Thanksgiving week kicks off the beginning of our holiday travel season that lasts until after the first of the year. Our Florida roads are filled not only with residents driving to visit family and friends within the state, but with tourists from across the country and around the world seeking sun, warmth and Disney World.
Following are some important reminders to people who are on the roads over the holidays to help you and your family get to and from your destinations safely.
Planning ahead is important. Determine your route ahead of time. Don't just wait and pick an option on GPS when you get in the car. Check for any road closures, weather issues and traffic problems before you leave. Allow yourself more than enough time to reach your destination on schedule. Don't try to push it by driving straight through for more hours than you can stay alert behind the wheel.
Have emergency supplies and equipment in your car. If you're a Floridian traveling in a colder state, you may need to be prepared for snow, ice and other unfamiliar conditions.
Before you set off on your trip, make sure that your tires are properly inflated, your windshield wipers and hoses are in good shape and all fluid levels are adequate. If your car is due for a check-up, get it before your trip. If something goes wrong, you may have a hard time finding a repair person to fix it over a holiday or an available rental car if you need one.
It goes without saying, but don't drive under the influence. Law enforcement is out in force over the holidays looking for impaired drivers. More importantly, you don't want to put yourself or anyone else on the road at risk. If you're going to be drinking at a holiday party or dinner, have a designated driver or make sure that you have the Uber app on your phone so that you can call a ride to get home safely.
No matter how careful we are on the roads, we can't guarantee that our fellow drivers are being equally vigilant. If you are involved in a car accident that's that fault of another driver, you may need to seek legal guidance to obtain the compensation you need to heal.
Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, "Consumer Advisory: Drive Safely During Thanksgiving Travel," accessed Nov. 17, 2015