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 comes an influx of car accidents and thus, and the 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 them to leave their cell phone with you or in their 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:
- Traffic 101 offers the simplest traffic school course format. Whilst other traffic schools try to squeeze in several video clips and animated illustrations in their course material, this one opted to keep it clean. You won’t need to spend extra time watching all those videos that other courses have. You can just cruise through the course, scroll down, and read. Before you know it, you’re done with the course. That’s the beauty of taking Traffic 101’s course.
- GoToTrafficSchool, meanwhile, is a popular option for those who are on a tight budget. Because of the lowest price guarantee that they offer, I can easily say that this is one of the cheapest courses you’ll ever find in any state nationwide. Don’t worry though, despite a budget-friendly offer, the course itself is of high quality – they even updated their materials recently to keep up with the changes, both in technology and in each state’s driving laws. The school itself has been around for more than 20 years and has served millions of individual drivers already.
- DriversEd.com is another popular choice for students, new or adult drivers alike. Their experience speaks for them – they’ve been there for more than 20 years now. While it’s not as cheap as GoToTrafficSchool, you’ll still get your money’s worth for the added features such as an audio read-along option and interactive tests and quizzes.
- TrafficSchoolToGo is another affordable option to consider. Though the course can be a bit boring as compared to other more interactive courses, it’s still convenient to take as the course is available online, wherever you are, and accessible using any device.
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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