Thanksgiving is almost here – a time when many people will travel to visit loved ones.
AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year. This represents a 1.9 percent increase over 2015, and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007.
The American Red Cross has a few tips people can follow to make holiday travel safer. “We want people to enjoy their time together,” said Gino Greco, CEO for the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming. “Hopefully these tips will help them reach their destination and return safely.”
If you are driving:
1. Check the weather along your route and plan for travel around any storms that may be coming. Watch weather predictions for your entire route so you know what to expect along the way.
2. Buckle up, slow down, don’t drive impaired. Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
3. Be well rested and alert.
4. Follow the rules of the road.
5. Use caution in work zones.
6. Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase your chance of being in a collision. Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
7. Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
8. Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
9. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or if you are using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather. Don’t overdrive your headlights.
10. If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.
11. Have an alternate route in your plan and make sure others know the plan.
12. Take along your emergency travel kit in your trunk. Get ideas at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/be-red-cross-ready/get-a-kit
13. More travel tips are available at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/highway-safety.
If you are flying:
1. Check weather forecasts for departure and arrival and pack accordingly
2. Check your flight status before leaving for the airport
3. Arrive at the airport early
4. Pack smart to avoid baggage fees and delays
5. Don’t forget to bring along charging systems for your technology
6. Be patient and courteous to others. A smile can go a long way.
7. Share your travel plans with those you are visiting and always have a backup plan.
Download the American Red Cross First Aid App. The app provides users with quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. The free EMERGENCY mobile app can keep you informed while travelling. Both apps have the “I’m Safe” feature to help keep others aware of your situation. See all the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.