Traveling on holiday weekends can be a nightmare, especially if you are expected to be somewhere and become involved in delays or a car accident in Greensboro, Charlotte or elsewhere in the state.
Holiday weekends always make roadways more congested but this weekend draws more attention as motorists head out to family gatherings, Thanksgiving Day parades, or shopping adventures looking to get a jump on holiday gift ideas and sales events.
Gastonia car accident attorneys know that soaring gas prices won’t keep travelers off the roadways this weekend so we want to alert motorists to use extra caution as you travel throughout the holiday week and weekend.
According to a recent article in USA Today, Thanksgiving holiday travel is estimated to hit a record high level this weekend. Even those drivers who plan ahead and intend to leave early can run into snags with construction, breakdowns, or congested traffic. Long trips with screaming kids in the car and potential weather-related problems can only add to the stressors of holiday traveling. AAA predicts that 90 percent of holiday travelers will be on roadways rather than through the air this year. More specifically, it is estimated that 38.2 million of the 42.5 million expected travelers will be via automobile.
Speeders will be of particular interest this holiday weekend as law enforcement gets heightened to keep roadways safe during holiday travel. Some states offer maximum traffic violations as high as $2,500 (Illinois and Virginia) for speeding. North Carolina makes the Top 10 list for stiffest penalties slapped on speeders during holiday weekends. A speeding motorist can be hit with a $1,000 fine in North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota and Indiana. Other hefty maximum speeding fines include $2,000 in Georgia and Nevada, $750 in Utah and $625 in Iowa.
North Carolina is also notorious for some of the worst roads in the country. Construction zones can make travel delays a hassle but motorists are reminded to be patient, plan your route accordingly and don’t become aggressive when traffic comes to a screeching halt.
The Fatality Analysis Reporting System used the by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported over 900 deaths nationwide on Thanksgiving in 2009 as a result of 354 fatal crashes. In 2009, North Carolina reported 39 deaths on Thanksgiving caused by 14 fatal crashes.
Important holiday driving tips to remember:
-Perform a routine maintenance check on your vehicle. For example, check the cooling system, air in your tires, radiator and brakes to make sure all are working properly before a long trip.
-Take a nap after your holiday meal to avoid causing a drowsy driving accident on your way home from a family gathering.
-Check out area events that might create road closures or traffic delays like holiday parades or shows. Planning an alternate route is advised.
-If alcohol is being served, designate a driver if you intend to drink.
-Whether it is a quick trip to the store or a 50 mile trip to grandma’s house expect delays and traffic congestion.
-Just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean bad drivers hide out all weekend and stay off roadways. Defensive driving skills should be heightened during holiday travel weeks.
The Lee Law Offices, P.A wishes everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a car accident in Charlotte, Greensboro, Gastonia or the surrounding areas, allow our dedicated car accident attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Thanksgiving travel to hit record level, by Larry Copeland, USA Today.
More Blog Entries:
Reckless Driving Accidents in Charlotte, Elsewhere Often Caused by Speeding Motorists, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 16, 2011.