Traveling for Thanksgiving? Here are eight safe driving tips for the upcoming holiday

Connected car technology could warn drivers when vehicles ahead of them suddenly brake.

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY)-  With an expected 48.5 million motorists taking to the roads over the next week, safety and awareness are the highest priorities while traveling the state and nations highways. With that in mind, the West Virginia Trucking Association (WVTA), offers safe driving trips for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

“The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is a much-anticipated time for many individuals to spend quality time visiting with family and friends, but it’s important to stay mindful while traveling to and from your destination as many motorists will be hitting the highways over the next few days,” said Traci Nelson, president of the West Virginia Trucking Association. “Gathering around the table for dinner and fellowship with family should be a joyous occasion, but that doesn’t mean you can take a break from using commonsense and good judgement while on the road. We all must remember to buckle up, slow down and be mindful and alert of the weather and other motorists.”

Safe Driving Tips Include:
Buckle Up: Safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and are a simple way to increase your safety on the road.

Slow Down: With the extra highway congestion expected with holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous for you and others on the road. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles.

Never Drive Impaired: The holidays are often a time for being social, but if you’ve had too much to drink, do not get behind the wheel. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving.

Prepare Your Vehicle for Long Distance Travel: Check your tires, wipers and fluids. Simple maintenance and inspection can prevent many of the problems that strand motorists.

Be Aware of Trucks’ Blind Spots: When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If you can’t see the driver in his or her mirror, then the driver can’t see you.

Do Not Cut in Front of Large Trucks: Trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.

Avoid Distracted Driving: Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes and deaths. Put down the cell phone and keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel.

Be Mindful of the Weather: As winter approaches and temperatures drop, check the weather forecasts of the areas along your route and prepare for appropriate driving conditions.

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