Any advice as we travel this holiday weekend?
This weekend is the beginning of the holiday season—filled with both joy and stress, families gathering around the Thanksgiving table with loved ones, and memories of Thanksgiving from our childhood. It’s a time to be thankful for family, friends, our successes and those of our children, the bounties before us as we gather for Thanksgiving dinner. I feel blessed for my wonderful children and am thankful for many things including continuing the business that my grandparents started more than 75 years ago. My brother, Mark, my two kids and I are thankful for our dedicated employees of Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion, and our loyal customers and business partners. It is time to step back and reflect, and most importantly, give thanks.
Thanksgiving is THE busiest travel weekend of the year with 41.3 million Americans traveling in vehicles. (The holiday “weekend” begins on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. and ends at midnight on Sunday.) The National Safety Council is estimating 418 fatalities in the U.S. this weekend from crashes and 44,700 injuries. Those are staggering numbers.
Last Thanksgiving, I remember seeing the overhead road signs in New Hampshire counting the deaths from traffic fatalities, and while the numbers were in the single digits, I remember thinking: “one death is one too many. This is supposed to be the season to celebrate…” and I saw the number grow as the weekend continued.
• Buckle up…everyone, no exceptions! (The National Safety Council estimates that 153 lives will be saved from accident victims wearing seatbelts and 104 more lives will be saved if every traveler wears a seatbelt.)
• Be certain to restrain children and babies properly.
• Do not drink and drive, no matter how far you have to drive, no matter how little you’ve had to drink. (Last year there were 560 alcohol-related fatalities on this holiday weekend.)
• Refrain from using electronic devices, even hands-free devices.
• Plan ahead, drive defensively, especially in inclement weather.
• If you are drowsy from all the food you ate and the long day, stay overnight if at all possible. Even if it’s cold out, crack the window to help you stay alert, refrain from using the heat as it will make you sleepy, play loud music, sing and/or have a cup of coffee before you drive. If you feel too tired to drive, have someone else drive or take a nap.
Weather.com is predicting a 90 percent chance of precipitation in our area on Wednesday with rain and/or snow from 5-8 inches. Thanksgiving Day predictions include 37 degrees with only 20% chance of precipitation and the rest of the weekend looks dry and cold. So please drive slowly, at the speed limit or less, depending on traffic, and allow extra time to arrive safely. Last year, 349 people from Massachusetts and 108 from New Hampshire were killed in motor vehicle accidents. Don’t become a statistic when the simple tips above can help save lives.
Let’s all work together to make this the safest holiday weekend in years. Your driving habits not only affect those in your vehicle, but all those families driving around you. I want you to arrive safely at your destination for Thanksgiving and return home safely. I wish each and every one of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving. Make it home safely so you can enjoy the full holiday season with your loved ones and get ready to head into the New Year!