Many of the people who call Phoenix home did not start out here but rather chose this part of the Valley to live. Regardless if you were born here or whether you moved here later in life, though, chances are good that you must commute on a regular basis to get to work, to school, or to other places you frequent, leading to a larger amount of driving. Holiday weekends make the hours we drive all the more apparent as nearly 50 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving this year - you and your family might be among them.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be grateful for the year and for all you have in your life, but few things can take away your joy quite like being involved in a car accident while on your way to or from a celebration. The word "accident" often hides the truth that the majority of the collisions that occur are due to an error or a mistake on the part of one or more drivers involved and often constitute negligent conduct. When a crash happens, victims who are injured may be entitled to seek financial compensation for their losses, but the best option is always to prevent a collision whenever possible.
To increase your odds of a safe Thanksgiving, consider the following tips if you will be driving:
- Avoid traffic congestion: If you have lived in Phoenix for any length of time, this may seem like an obvious tip. Traffic can back up in many parts of the Valley at several different times every day. But Thanksgiving weekend is primed to see even more vehicles on the road as the AAA anticipates an increase of more than four percent from last year's traffic. Greater traffic means greater congestion and an increased possibility of a collision taking place. While you may not be able to drive as the only car on a highway, planning your trip ahead of time can help you avoid many of the backups that will likely result in crashes this weekend.
- Travel during daylight hours if possible: Your plans may require you to drive at night, but if your schedule is flexible, consider taking to the roads during the daylight hours. Visibility is increased when the sun is up and many motorists have better vision during the daytime than they do at night. Scheduling your drive to coincide with daytime may help you reduce the risk of an accident and also may make the drive a little more enjoyable.
- Never drink and drive: If you plan to drink this Thanksgiving, do not drive. Use a designated driver or make plans to stay with family or friends. It is a crime in Arizona to drive under the influence of alcohol and doing so can lead to criminal charges, traffic citations, and even civil liability for any damages you cause if a collision takes place. Remember, there is never a good reason to drink and drive, so make sure it is not part of your holiday plans.
- Obey all local traffic laws: It may sound simple but traffic rules and regulations exist for a reason. The safest conditions result when every driver obeys traffic laws, including following the speed limit, and you can do your part this weekend. Do not follow too closely to a vehicle in front of you, stop for red lights and stop signs, and make sure you yield the right-of-way. These simply actions can prevent thousands of Arizona car accidents every year, some of which will occur over Thanksgiving.