Thanksgiving is a time or families to gather together.  Many of us travel long distances to share a turkey with our loved ones. Are you one of the 42 million Americans who will be driving to your Thanksgiving destination?  Be careful.  The Thanksgiving holiday weekend ranks third of all holidays for car crashes (Memorial Day and New Years are first and second).  Nationwide, there are expected to be about 400 car crash fatalities over Thanksgiving weekend and tens of thousands more injuries.
These tips can help you get to your holiday destination safely.
Plan ahead. Even if you use a GPS, take a look at the map and see where you are going. Know your exit name and number and watch for the signs as you near the off-ramp. Drivers who make unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents.
Watch out for trucks. When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware that trucks have large blind spots. If you can't see the truck driver in his or her mirrors, then the truck driver can't see you. Also, don’t cut in front of trucks.  Because trucks are heavy, it takes them longer to make a complete stop.   A driver may not be able to avoid an accident if you cut in front of his big rig.
Make sure you have an emergency kit. It should contain a battery powered radio, flashlight, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares.  For more about what should be in your emergency kit, read our article Flat Tire? Bad Weather?  What Should You Keep In A Roadside Emergency Kit?”
Check the weather.  If you are travelling north, watch out for ice and snow.  There’s a chance of rain in Atlanta, so be prepared for delays.
Avoid distraction. Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic accidents. Don’t text or use a cell phone while driving and avoid eating, drinking or other distractions.   Bring another adult to help with the kids.
Avoid drowsy driving.  Try not to drive late at night and switch off driving responsibilities, if possible.  Take breaks.
Plan for delays. Leave early so you won't be tempted to speed or drive recklessly and to accommodate the inevitable holiday traffic jams. 
Wear your seat belt. If you are in an accident, safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent!  
Atlanta car crash attorney Shane Smith and the legal staff at the Law Offices of Shane Smith wish you and your family a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.  We hope you won’t need us this weekend, but if you do, we are available 24-7 at 770-HURT-999.
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Shane Smith
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Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia

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