Turkey Time! Tips for Thanksgiving Driving

turkey-admiring-self-in-car-bumper-lgThanksgiving means turkey, pie, football, shopping and all the great (and not so great) things we love about the holidays.  The only problem is (statistically speaking) , most of us have to travel for our piece of pumpkin pie.  The United States Bureau of Transportation states that the 6 day Thanksgiving period (Wednesday to Sunday) sees long distance (100 miles or more) trips increase by 54%.  That means not only you, but a lot of people will be going over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house.

Most long distance travel (100 miles or more) occurs on Wednesday night, and those travelers return Sunday night.  Most short distance (50-99 miles) will return Saturday.  Keep these patterns in mind when planning your trip.  It may be worth skipping out on some of grandpa’s stories earlier to miss some of the holiday traffic congestion (or if you just don’t want to listen to grandpa, there’s your excuse).

Avoid traffic backups by leaving earlier


Since it seems hitting the road is inevitable for the majority of Americans, here’s a few quick tips to make sure your car trip goes smoother than whip cream on pumpkin pie.

  • Buckle up, and do not drive impaired.
  • Be well rested and alert.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  • Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Observe speed limits – driving too fast or too slow can increase your chance of being in a collision.
  • Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
  • Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
  • Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.
  • Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or if you are using your windshield wipers due to inclement weather.
  • Don’t overdrive your headlights.
  • If you have car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.

A lot can happen on the road including breakdowns, accidents or bad weather.  Here are a few more tips to keep you safe in case disaster strikes (car related of course, we can’t do anything if you run out of turkey!).

Follow these trips to keep yourself sane on a long roadtrip!
  • Stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won’t back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
  • Carry an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk.
  • Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.

For more information and safety tips visit redcross.org and the USBT website.

Court Street Ford, located at 558 William Latham Drive, is a multi-year president’s award winning dealership. We have been serving the Kankakee, Bradley, Bourbonnais area for 30 years and counting! We are committed to exceptional customer service. Stop by or give us a call at (815) 939-9600, our knowledgeable sales team and service department will be happy to help and are dedicated to providing the best experience!


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