I wanted to wish every one a happy and safe Thanksgiving.
I will pause to thank God for my blessings, be with my wonderful family, see some movies and football games and exercise. And my birthday is Friday (how did I ever get to be 58?).
But unfortunately driving during the holidays can be dangerous.
Too many people drive while intoxicatedafter their big meals, parties, and games — Cowboys and TCU/UT just being two.. Last year 26 people were tragically killed in Texas just during this period. So here are some tips to make sure you get to your destination safely this weekend:
1. Inspect your engine and tires before you leave, with a mechanic if necessary. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
2. Pack an emergency kit.
3. Analyze the best route. Try to stay off the interstates if possible. Check the weather and TXDOT web page for Texas highway conditions in real time.
4. If you are tired, stop and get a cup of coffee. Stretch your legs and get some fresh air. Change drivers frequently.
5. Do NOT drive and use your cell phone. The NHTSA reports that your chances of being in a collision are 40% higher if you do.
6. Do not drive distracted. There are so many things to look at other than the vehicles in front and around you, like radio stations, CDs, your passenger and kids, even computer screens in some new models.
7. Slow down in construction zones.
8. Stay away from 18 wheelers. Their blind spots are enormous, they are difficult if not impossible to stop at high speeds, and their drivers are often in a hurry to deliver their goods.
9. Make sure every one in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt. All children under eight must be wearing one (unless they are taller than 4′ 9″) and infants under 20 pounds must be seated in rear facing baby seats in the back seat.
10. Slow down.Give yourself more time than you might think necessary, as the roads will be jam packed.