Get Home for the Holidays Safely

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By News Team on November 20, 2019

Planning to hit the road to visit family and friends this Thanksgiving?

You are not alone. More than 55 million people will be traveling at least 50 miles from home for the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday!

With that in mind, it be sure to pack some extra patience and remember some common-sense safety tips for your trip.

Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective safety measure you can take on the road.

“Thanksgiving is always one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately it also means that there is the potential for more vehicle crashes,” said Jill Lucas, a Carilion Clinic community health educator and the coordinator for Safe Kids Southwest Virginia.

According to Lucas, the number one thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones is to BUCKLE UP!

“Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective thing that you can do to safeguard your life while on the road,” she explained. 

As you make plans and get ready for your family road trip, remember these tips to help keep you, your family and everyone else on the road safe:

  • Buckle up, even on short trips
  • Secure children properly with safety belts and age-appropriate child safety seats*
  • Insist that everyone in your vehicle uses both the lap and shoulder belt

Think using your safety belt does not matter? Think again. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 500 people were killed in crashes during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend. About half of those who died weren’t wearing seat belts.

Other safety tips for the road include:

  • Don't drink and drive; always designate a sober driver
  • Check road and weather conditions and allow for extra time so you are not rushed
  • Obey speed limits and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
  • Take breaks every two hours or every 100 miles
  • Rotate driving responsibilities
  • Don’t drive distracted; driving and cell phones don’t mix so put your phone away while driving

Stay safe this holiday weekend and remember to buckle up! Every trip, every time.

*Approximately 80 percent of children are not properly secured in car seats. If you have questions, ask a certified car seat technician or attend one of our car seat safety checks.