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Holiday Travel Car Safety

As Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end, so does one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, and New England roadways return to business as usual. An estimated 1.7 million people took to the roads in New England the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the days following the holiday proved to be as busy.

The busiest travel days in the Bay State occurred Wednesday and Sunday as major backups and minor accidents occurred. Traffic was heavy on Interstate 93 and the Mass Turnpike on Wednesday; on Thursday, holiday travelers were jammed in a thirteen mile backup on I-90. On Sunday, the intersecting point of Interstate 84 and Interstate 90 proved to be the source of the most traffic during the day.

Two minor car accidents occurred on the Mass Pike this Sunday as well as many similar accidents throughout the weekend. The accidents caused prolonged backups for a major part of the day. No major accidents were reported. Authorities in Connecticut reported that two people had died on the state’s roadways.

While representatives in Massachusetts are yet to release statistics, Connecticut State Police said they responded to nearly 350 accidents over the holiday weekend and numbers in Massachusetts are likely to be similar. The police also charged 60 people with driving under the influence, issued about 1,500 speeding tickets and cited over 2,800 hazardous moving violations in Connecticut. These numbers were similar to the holiday weekend in 2011.

With Christmas and the new year just around the corner, Thanksgiving marks only the beginning of the busy holiday travel season. It is important for drivers to remain safe on the road.

The following are some tips to remember while traveling:

– Be sure your car is prepared for a long trip: Before you leave, have your car inspected to make sure it’s in proper working condition. Make sure you have no malfunctioning headlights, brake lights, brakes, and check tire pressure before departure.

– If you are tired, pull over: Driving while tired is one of the easiest ways to get into a car accident. If you’re tired, pull over into a well-lit area or rest area and take a 20-minute nap. While slightly delaying your trip, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by pulling over and getting rest.

– Avoid cell phone use when driving: While it is important to have an operating cell phone in case of emergencies on your trip, it is very easy to get distracted by text message or phone calls on the road. Store your cell phone in an accessible place in your car, but resist the temptation to use it if it is unnecessary, it could save your life or the lives of others if you do so.

– Do not drink and drive: Alcohol consumption is elevated during the holidays, however drinking and driving is never an acceptable action in which to partake. If you drink and drive, you’re putting not only your life at danger, you are putting the lives around you at danger. Make sleeping arrangements or establish a designated driver prior to your holiday travel.

– Eliminate distractions: Eating and drinking while driving are two common distractions which endanger drivers. Make scheduled stops to eat and drink before you drive to eliminate these risks. To eliminate other distractions, stay completely focused on the road.

By following these tips, we hope you can have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. However, even if you are being safe on the roadways, you can still be involved in a car accident. If you or someone you know gets into a car accident and would like to speak with an experienced car accident attorney, please contact us at (617) 326-5332.

Post-holiday traffic clears after busy day on Massachusetts Turnpike, Boston.com, November 25, 2012

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