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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Pay Attention to the Road this Week!

Nov 23, 2009 12:00AM

As Americans head out of town for Thanksgiving, they are contributing to the most traveled holiday period of the year, according to the National Safety Commission, with almost 90% of those traveling doing so by car.  And, if previous annual statistics hold true, this Thanksgiving weekend also may be the deadliest period of the year.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents account for more than 37,000 deaths each year.  Of that, during Thanksgiving 2008 alone, nearly 400 passengers were killed in car crashes —slightly over one percent of all fatalities for the year!  Thousands more were injured.  A culprit: driving while distracted.  Distracted driving has led to a significant increase in fatal car crashes over 2009, and this year’s holiday will be no exception.

By following some simple safety tips this Thanksgiving, drivers can greatly reduce their risk.

  • Pay attention to the road: With cars increasingly resembling mobile offices and entertainment centers, it can be easy to forget the main reason that you’re behind the wheel.
  • Don’t drive while drowsy: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 100,000 crashes are caused each year by drivers falling asleep at the wheel.
  • Don't use cell phones when driving: It's illegal and dangerous.
  • Don’t station surf: Whenever possible, let your passengers select the music.
  • Look briefly over both shoulders before changing lanes: Don’t rely on onboard technology.  Stick to the basics you learned in driver’s education.

–Courtesy of MetLife Auto & Home