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Holiday travel advisories: Road hazards

Millions of people travel for the holidays. With Thanksgiving right around the corner and Christmas following soon after, it’s an excellent time to remind drivers of the safety threats they may encounter.

The first notable danger drivers face is poor weather conditions. If you are staying within state lines, you might face snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

These safety dangers may make visibility difficult and roads slippery. The frigid temperatures can make it harder to start your vehicle and increase the chances of getting frostbite if you do have car troubles or end up in the ditch.

You should pack a safety kit in your vehicle in case your vehicle breaks down.

What threats may take drivers by surprise?

Seasoned Illinois drivers are sure to check the weather before heading out for a long holiday haul, but there are other hazards drivers may not be prepared for.

Using a GPS could be dangerous

You might be using a GPS to get to your destination. Having a GPS is very handy, but it can also be hazardous. Sometimes GPS systems are unaware of construction or road closures, and they could lead you astray.

A GPS can also be distracting. Even if you only pull your eyes off the road for a second to look at the GPS, something could go wrong, and you could end up colliding with another vehicle, in the ditch or worse.

Watch out for intoxicated drivers

Unfortunately, the holiday season seems to bring out intoxicated drivers. The night before Thanksgiving, often referred to as “Black Wednesday” or “Drunksgiving,” is one of the deadliest days of the year because of the high volume of drunk driver-related accidents.

Closely following, New Year’s Eve is another risky time to be on the road. It is also high on the list of alcohol involved car collisions. Drunk drivers threaten the safety of everyone else on the road.

What can you do?

Here is what you can do to keep you and others safe while traveling this season:

  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Stay focused on the road, ignore potential distractions
  • Don’t follow other cars too closely
  • Adjust your driving to the weather conditions
  • Call in any vehicles you suspect may be driving under the influence

You can take precautions to keep yourself safe, but that might not be enough. Even if you are prepared for traffic and iffy road conditions, you can’t be sure another vehicle won’t hit you.

Hopefully, being cautious and well-equipped with knowledge will be enough to keep you safe this holiday season.

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Wheaton, IL 60187

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