Meadows Automotive wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost Turkey Day! If you’re planning to drive over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, employ some tips to keep you and your family safe. There’s no point in turning the weekend into a disaster with an auto accident.
1. Keep Your Blood Sugar Up
Get plenty of rest the night before the trip and pack healthy, protein-filled snacks and bottled water to keep your blood sugar stable while you drive. This keeps you alert, hydrated, and calm. Pack blankets and an emergency kit, too, just in case you get stuck in a winter storm or end up stranded roadside.
2. Don’t Overload Your Car
Only take what you need on your trip. Don’t overload your vehicle beyond its weight capacity. You can see how much weight your automobile can withstand by looking at the sticker on the side of the driver’s door. If you overload your car, you could damage the suspension. People are included in weight count.
3. Use the GPS
Turn on the GPS even if you know where you’re going. GPS systems alert you of traffic, auto accidents, road construction, inclement weather, and other road hazards. If you do need to be re-routed, the GPS system can do it for you automatically so you don’t have to pull over and map out another route.
4. Secure the Pets
Anytime you put the pets in the car, secure them, especially during a holiday weekend when there are drunk drivers on the road. We know Fido likes to put his head out the window, but flying road debris could strike and kill him. Secure the pets in carriers that can be buckled into the seats.
5. Secure Yourself, Too
Make sure you and your passengers always have your seatbelts fastened, too. Not only is this a law in the U.S., but it’s also just plain old common sense. You might be the safest driver on the road but this doesn’t mean other drivers are. Make sure everyone is secured in case someone hits you.
6. Obey Traffic Laws
Drive defensively and obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals. Leave early so you aren’t in a hurry and stop frequently to get out of the car and stretch. Remain patient and don’t speed or weave in and out of lanes to pass slower vehicles. There will be delays on Thanksgiving weekend so plan for them.
7. Don’t Get Distracted
Part of the reason why we recommended snacks in the first tip is to keep distractions, i.e. whining children, at bay. Don’t text and drive, allow the kids or your spouse to distract you, or get distracted any other way. Remember, studies show that texting while driving is just like drinking and driving.
8. Inspect Your Vehicle
Check your vehicle before you leave. Inspect the tires and check their air pressure. Make sure your fluid levels are topped off and get the oil changed if it’s due. Get any other maintenance done that’s due, and make sure your windshield wiper blades aren’t separating if you think you’ll hit rain or snow.
You can also bring your vehicle into Meadows Automotive in Waterford Township, MI, for pre-trip vehicle servicing.