Fall is in full swing and even the presidential election is over. It’s time to get back down to business in our daily lives. Next stop: the Thanksgiving holiday. If you are one of the millions of people hitting the road this Thanksgiving to spend time with friends and family, your election anxiety might change over to travel anxiety in one fail swoop.
The Peak Driving Times
When it comes to traffic and travel, there are peak times, low times, and average times. When analyzing the data, sources have found that the peak travel times for Thanksgiving week are broken down as follows:
Tuesday before Thanksgiving: Peak traffic is between 4pm and 8pm, but heavy traffic begins at 1pm. Traffic is lighter in the morning hours.
Wednesday before Thanksgiving: Peak traffic time is between 3pm and 7pm, with an increase in traffic flow beginning at 11am and continuing through the end of the day.
Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday: Travel is similar to a typical weekend day.
Saturday after Thanksgiving: There is a smaller increase in travel compared to an average weekend.
Sunday after Thanksgiving: The entire day shows above average travel with peak times between 1pm and 6pm.
Maintain And Plan
Some driving classes will teach you the importance of vehicle maintenance and this is one lesson that will come in handy when it comes to holiday travel. There are several things that you can do to ensure a safer and less hectic holiday on the road. To be sure that your vehicle is ready for the adventure, don’t just gas up and go; do a full vehicle check: tire pressure, oil, brake fluid, coolant, and even your windshield wiper fluid. Having a car that is ready for travel means less to worry about on the road. Other travel tips to make your trip easier include:
- Plan at least one alternate route in case you run into traffic jams, accidents, and delays. Plan to take the less travelled back roads and remember than going an extra 10 miles out of your way is better than sitting in traffic for 2 hours.
- Talk to your navigator who can check out the traffic as you go. Have your passenger locate the source of the jam (accident, construction) so you can take an exit and avoid it.
- Head out on an off hour, such a wee-morning or late at night. This will help you avoid the majority of the traffic and get you to your destination faster and easier. Be sure that you get plenty of sleep no matter what time you leave so that you can stay alert and aware.
- Consider heading to your destination on Thanksgiving Day. Even if you have a long way to go, with less traffic, you can still leave early and make it on time for dinner.
Take Advantage Of Those Driving Classes
One good thing about traveling with your family is the fact that you can switch off driving with other family members. If you have a teen driver in the house, you‘ll be thankful for those driving classes that she took that taught her how to navigate through heavy traffic. Why not give yourself an hour break and give her some experience driving on the highway? If you are driving in peak hours, this might not be the best time, but for off-peak hours or even on an alternate route, the more experience she can gain, the better. Before you know it, she’ll be planning the next trip before you can even say mapquest.
More Means More
It’s important to remember that with the influx of holiday travelers come an influx of car accidents and thus, and influx of police presence on the roads. Police officers are often looking for people who are using excessive speed or driving recklessly. They are also looking for people who are using cell phones and not using seat belts. Be sure that your teen’s driving classes come back to her when it comes to texting and driving. Tell her to leave her cell phone with you or in her purse until the next stop, at which point she can go back to being a passenger and text all she likes.
The Best Laid Plans
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might find those flashing light getting right behind you and pulling you over. If you get stuck in a traffic jam, resist the urge to kick up your speed to “make up time.” If you do get pulled over for speeding, and you do not have an officer who will cut you some slack, you might find yourself with a ticket. But don’t let that ruin your holiday. In most states, you can take traffic school or driving classes that can help reduce your fine and take some of the points off your license. And you can even take many of them online. Some of the fastest traffic schools online include:
Now Get Out There Champ!
You’ve got the tips, you’ve got the plans, you know the times, and you even know what to do should you get into a jam (both traffic and ticket). Now get out there and have a happy Thanksgiving! Safe travels!
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