We’re about to celebrate what is many Americans’ favorite holiday: the one that puts families, food, and friendship at its center. Thanksgiving means getting together with the wider circle of families and friends, and often that means travel. Here’s how to keep yourselves and love ones safe and comfortable if you’re driving on Thanksgiving:

  • Give your car the once-over. Yes, of course, they always tell you to check your tires and brakes, and they’re right. But you might want to look at your windshield wipers too – what’s the advantage of not being able to see well in the rain? And the battery? Six years, seriously?
  • Watch for strange behavior on the roads. Remember that many people are driving in unfamiliar territory this weekend. Watch for people slowing down in weird places and making turns too late. Forgive them, for they know not where they’re going. Also, some people will take to the roads after drinking. If you see what looks like impaired driving, give them a wide berth and call 911.And don’t be the one doing the strange things. If you’re driving around unfamiliar areas, bring along a navigator so your face isn’t stuck in the GPS all the time. It’s nice to have company anyway.
  • Be rested when you drive. You know not to drive drunk, but what about if you’re tired from eating, shouting at the Panthers, and playing with the nieces and nephews? You can be just as impaired, with bad judgment and poor coordination. Work some resting or napping into the busy schedule if you need to.
  • Take the scenic route. The major highways will be crammed. If you’ve got the time, why not take another route and avoid seeing nothing but bumpers on your voyage?
  • Stay calm. Holidays can be stressful, and that stress sometimes shows up behind the wheel in aggressiveness or distraction. Take a breath, remember why you have the day off in the first place, and enjoy your drive.
  • Don’t drink and drive. We know it’s obvious, but check the police blotter during the weekend and you’ll see that not everyone heeds obvious advice.

A Thanksgiving wish from Monitech: Be safe. And be thankful.

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