Many Americans are currently planning their Thanksgiving holiday travel plans. Over 50 million people will travel over the holiday weekend, which begins on Wednesday, November 22nd and extends through Sunday, November 26th of this year. An improved economy and lower gas prices will lead many to venture across the United States to celebrate with family and friends. Travelers are urged to give thought to planning a safe journey, whether you plan to travel by car, plane, train, or boat. Careful planning ahead of time can ensure that you arrive to your destination safely.
Eighty-nine percent of people planning to travel over the Thanksgiving weekend will travel by car. With plenty of time to prepare, drivers should ensure that their oil, brake, and transmission fluids are filled, windshield wipers and fluids are in working order, and that all tires are in good condition and properly inflated. Check that all seatbelts are in working order, and that the heating and cooling systems are working properly.
Drivers should pay careful attention to weather and traffic reports along their expected travel route. Caution should be taken to avoid areas prone to flooding or those with extensive road work underway. Be sure to pack a safety kit to keep in your trunk that includes non-perishable food, water, a blanket, and emergency road flares. Keep your gas tank full to prevent emergencies caused by low fuel.
Drivers need to be particularly aware of their level of fatigue. Pull over or share the driving with another adult when you feel drowsy. Make frequent stops along the way to stretch your legs, use the bathroom, and revive your mind. Avoid traveling at night, if possible, to ensure that you obtain a good night’s rest. Never drink alcohol or take medication when planning to get behind the wheel of a car.
Air travelers are particularly prone to unexpected delays. Plan to stay close to the airport, or allow plenty of travel time to get there on your day of departure. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the most heavily traveled day of the year and delays are common. Careful planning can help you avoid the stress and inconvenience caused by these delays.
Though air travel can get you to your destination quickly, it can also expose you to a multitude of health hazards. It is best to carry hand sanitizer with you and use it often. Bring antibacterial wipes with you to wash surfaces such as trays, armrests, and lavatory facilities and avoid touching your face with your hands. If you need to sneeze, cough, or scratch, use your sleeve or a tissue to put a barrier between your hands and your eyes, nose, and mouth. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and blood clots that can happen over extended periods of time spent sitting on a plane. Giving a little thought to pre-planning details will ensure you have a safe Thanksgiving holiday.
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