first aid bag on grass with Fall leaves around it

Thanksgiving is almost here! This holiday brings people together, whether it’s over shared recipes or shared football teams. Getting to each other though can be a hassle, as traffic in Tampa Bay has increased dramatically over the last 3 years. No one wants their Thanksgiving travel interrupted by an accident, so planning ahead is important.

Whether you’re visiting family across town, or heading across the state for Thanksgiving dinner, we’ve got tips and tricks to make the trip easier…and safer.

Map Out Your Trip Before You Hit the Road

Many distractions behind the wheel stem from not having a plan in place. Continually fumbling with your GPS or trying to look at printed directions (who does that anymore??) isn’t just inefficient…it’s dangerous. Each time you take your eyes off the road you increase your chances of an accident. Thanks to the continual road construction in and around Tampa, and the heavy traffic during this time of year especially, you could end up hitting some bumps in the road…literally.

The best way to ensure a smooth trip is by planning your route ahead of time. Choose roads that will be the least busy at the time of your travel or routes that have easy access to the stops you need. These stops are important for taking breaks if you get tired and having a safe place to use the facilities, get food, take care of kids/pets, etc. during your trip.

Additional tip: once you’ve planned your route, let someone else know your travel plans. Give them your estimated time of arrival (ETA) so if you don’t arrive within a reasonable amount of time, they’ll send someone to check on you.

Once your route is mapped out, it’s time to think about preparations for the actual road trip.

What You Need for Successful (and Safe) Thanksgiving Travel

As you plan ahead for your trip, make a packing list for your car! We encourage you to have:

A Roadside Emergency Kit

Every vehicle should be equipped with a roadside emergency kit. This important set of tools and materials can save your life, or the lives of others, in case of a breakdown or accident. This kit should include:

  • a flashlight with extra batteries
  • flares
  • a pair of work gloves (for changing tires or checking under the hood)
  • jumper cables
  • a basic tool kit (hammer, screwdriver, pliers, etc.)
  • a wheel wrench and tire jack
  • a properly inflated spare tire
  • reflective vest
  • fire extinguisher
  • duct tape

First Aid Kit

Your generic pocket first aid kit works for a trip to the playground or a day in the office. Your car’s first aid kit though should be better stocked and have more than just bandaids and some cotton swabs.

Having a high-quality first aid kit doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are many budget-friendly options on the market. Some items may vary, but all kits should have

  • bandages of varying sizes
  • adhesive cloth tape
  • gauze
  • alcohol wipes
  • saline flush
  • tweezers
  • antibiotic ointment
  • basic painkillers/fever reducers
  • thermometer
  • Steri-Strips or butterfly closure strips
  • emergency blanket
  • breathing barrier (one-way valve)
  • instant cold compress
  • hydrocortisone ointment

Your first aid kit lets you respond quickly to minor health scares or injuries and can buy time for more serious situations until medical professionals arrive. When traveling any distance, injuries and emergencies are always a risk. It’s best to be prepared!

Activities for Young Passengers

If your Thanksgiving travel includes small children, you need some tricks up your sleeve to make sure the journey is peaceful. Planning ahead by packing some snacks and activities can make the trip enjoyable for everyone in the car. Small, age-appropriate cars or figures, fidget toys, books, sticker books, and even portable DVD players (for long trips) are all great ways to provide entertainment in the backseat.

All Important Papers

Don’t forget to review all of your important papers before you get on the road. Make sure your registration is in the glove box, your license is current, and that your insurance paperwork is up-to-date.

It’s also worth taking time to jot down emergency contact information for doctors, phone numbers of family members, and medical information for all people in the car. In an accident, this information is a game-changer for first responders.

Is your car ready for your road trip?

toy car in pile of yellow and orange Fall leaves

A checkup for your car is always a good idea before hitting the highway for an extended road trip!

You might be ready for your holiday travels, but is your car?

Taking your vehicle in to be serviced before the big day is the best way to avoid unexpected breakdowns and potential accidents. Have them check your spare tire, and be sure all fluids are topped off and ready for the road.

Drive smart during your Thanksgiving travel.

No matter the season or the reason for your road trip, driving smart is always key. Watch your speed, drive defensively, and take breaks when you need them.

Remember, never drive after you’ve been drinking or have used any mind-altering medications or drugs. Substance abuse is one of the top causes of car accident fatalities and injuries in Tampa Bay. Don’t let your holiday turn into a tragedy because of one poor choice.

What should I do if I get into an accident on Thanksgiving?

We get it. Accidents happen, even on holidays. If the reckless or negligent decisions of another driver interrupts your Thanksgiving travel, it can be devastating. This is especially true if you or someone you love were seriously injured in the collision.

Fortunately, first responders are on call on Thanksgiving, and Brooks Law Group is here for you too. Our FREE consultation request is always ready and waiting. No matter the time of day or night, you can let us know about your case and be confident that we’ll be back in touch promptly in the days ahead. Our team of experienced accident lawyers will review your case and set a time to discuss it with you so you feel empowered and informed of your options.

When car accidents happen, you don’t have to feel helpless. You aren’t alone. Brooks Law Group is in your corner and ready to fight for the compensation and justice you deserve. You can always Look to Brooks.

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you have an amazing holiday whether you’re celebrating at home or hitting the road. Be safe out there!

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.