Holiday Travel Ramping Up as Thanksgiving Approaches
The highest number of travelers in eight years—47 million in total—are expected to make their way across the country via highways, interstates, and the sky this week as they travel for Thanksgiving.
According to a report by wsmv.com, people traveling by air may experience delays due to extra screenings by the TSA in response to recent terrorist attacks in France. Because of these expected delays, passengers are being advised to arrive to the airport terminal at least two hours before their schedule departure times.
Nashville’s airport will experience one of its busiest days of the year, with around 23,000 passengers expected to depart this week. Despite the large number of fliers, AAA reports that 89 percent of travelers will be driving to their destinations, and traffic congestion is expected to begin on Wednesday and last through the weekend.
The good news is that the Tennessee Department of Transportation will temporarily halt all road work and lane closures on interstates from Wednesday through Monday to help alleviate traffic concerns. In addition, gas prices are at their lowest level in seven years, making travel more affordable for families this year.
Tips for Staying Safe When Traveling for the Holidays
There are always risks when traveling on Tennessee’s highways and interstates, but those risks can be magnified during the holidays when traffic congestion and the overall volume of vehicles increase. In addition, the number of drivers who are intoxicated also increases around this time of year due to holiday parties and family gatherings where alcohol is served.
To keep your family safe during your holiday travels, do your best to follow these tips:
- Plan your route ahead of time.
Before you begin your travels, take the time to map out your route using your smartphone or computer. This will help you identify potential problem areas or areas with high levels of congestion. Mapping your drive and choosing the fastest possible route will not only help you avoid frustrating stop-and-go traffic, but it can also put you on roads with fewer vehicles—which reduces your risk of being involved in an accident.
- Never drive when sleepy or exhausted.
Thanksgiving travel often involves a hectic schedule—especially if you’re taking part in multiple family gatherings during a short period of time. It’s important to stay well-rested during this time, and if you start feeling sleepy, pull over immediately. Never get behind the wheel if you’re sleep-deprived or exhausted.
- Don’t speed or tailgate.
There’s always the temptation to drive faster, follow other vehicles closely, or even weave in and out of traffic in order to reach your destination sooner. But engaging in those behaviors can be extremely dangerous. Plan ahead if you’re trying to reach your destination at a specific time and leave earlier to allow yourself more time. By leaving earlier, you’ll be less tempted to put yourself and your family at risk.
- Avoid distractions while driving.
Loading up the family for a long-distance trip carries with it a whole host of potential distractions. Do your best to eliminate them by having your passengers use headphones with smartphones, MP3 players, tablets, or built-in DVD players, and do your best to keep your eyes, ears, and mind on the road at all times.
Matt Hardin Law’s team of Nashville auto accident attorneys hopes everyone has a happy Thanksgiving, and we also hope that all drivers in Tennessee keep in mind that it’s their responsibility to keep themselves and their loved ones safe on the roadways throughout the state. By focusing on safe driving and being aware of the behaviors of other drivers, Tennesseans can significantly reduce their risks of being involved in accidents during their holiday travels.
If you or someone you love was injured in an auto accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, our legal team may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Get in touch with us today—just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online form.