PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. Thanksgiving driving can be stressful. Not only are drivers contending with traffic, but they may also find themselves dealing with bad weather as the season changes and days get shorter. Stress can have a major impact on your ability to remain focused while driving. In fact, according to Scientific American, individuals with high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, might find themselves having more difficulty with memory tasks, organization skills, attention, and may face more challenges completing tasks involving visual perception—all essential skills required for driving. Stress doesn’t make for a better driver. In fact, studies have shown that high stress makes drivers perform more poorly. Staying calm while driving to visit family and loved ones this holiday season not only is better for your health and happiness, it can also save your life.
One way to reduce stress is to prepare yourself and your family before you hit the road. When planning for your Thanksgiving travels, it is important to consider each aspect of your drive. For example, has your car had a recent tune-up? Have you put on your winter tires? If you are traveling with children, do you have a plan about how to keep your children entertained, and if your children require booster seats or child safety seats, are these up to date? If you are traveling with pets, do you have a means to secure your pet while driving? Pets can be a major distraction if they are free to run around the car. Finally, have your planned your route carefully and checked the weather? If the weather is poor, it might be best to avoid driving. Or, give yourself extra time before leaving home to accommodate changes that poor weather might bring.
Ideally, you’ll want to get behind the wheel feeling well-rested with a clear sense of your route, peace of mind that the weather will offer safe conditions, with children and pets secure and entertained. Get a family member to help with directions so you don’t have to worry about using maps or your phone. The Red Cross also recommends that families pack an emergency preparedness kit before leaving home. The kit should include blankets, warm clothes, snacks, water, flashlights, batteries, a shovel, and a first aid kit.
If you do encounter dangerous winter weather or an emergency, pull over to the side of the road and find a safe place to wait for emergency services to arrive. Don’t keep your car running, but if you can do so safely, keep your lights on so emergency personnel can see you. Call for help. Don’t try to walk alone in a snow storm during poor weather. Stay with your vehicle. Finally, in the event of a crash, make sure everyone is safe and call for help.
Goodrich and Associates, P.C. are car accident lawyers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who wish all drivers a safe and fun Thanksgiving holiday. If you find yourself running into car trouble or find yourself involved in an accident, consider speaking to the personal injury attorneys at Goodrich and Associates, P.C. Our firm can help you speak to insurance adjusters, and fight to help you receive the recovery you may deserve from negligent parties.
Goodrich & Associates, P.C.
Law & Finance Building
429 Fourth Avenue Suite 900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219