Thanksgiving holiday traffic has become legendary in Maryland. Baltimore car accident injury lawyers like us appreciate the travel headaches — and increased risks for motor vehicle crashes — that Maryland motorists endure over Thanksgiving week. Driving this time of year requires planning, patience, and a steady hand at the wheel.
Thanksgiving is the most heavily travelled time of the year in the U.S. We have Baltimore County commuters who work Thanksgiving Eve hitting the roads at the same time as thousands of families are embarking on their holiday road trips. The combination of frazzled commuters trying to get home from work jamming our roadways — along with students, families, visitors, and others trying to get where they need to go — means long traffic delays and short tempers.
Throw unpredictable Northeast weather into the mix and it’s a wonder anyone leaves home at all. That said, the folks at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) offer a few common sense tips for people who will be driving on Thanksgiving:
- Make sure your car is tuned up and in good shape for a road trip. Check your tires, headlights, windshield wipers, brakes, and fluids before you hit our Maryland roadways.
- Make sure everyone buckles up their seat belts.
- Observe Maryland laws for proper restraint of children and infants in car seats.
- Obey speed limits.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Don’t engage in distracted driving behaviors such as texting (which is illegal in Maryland) and cell phone use (handheld cell phone use is a secondary offense).
AAA predicts a modest uptick in national Thanksgiving holiday traffic this year – due in part to lower gas prices and a slowly recovering economy. AAA predicts 43.6 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home over the holiday. A report on Weather.com stated that AAA was uncertain how damage caused by super storm Sandy might impact travel in the Mid-Atlantic region. Either way, advanced planning is always a good idea.
The Washington Post offers a guide to regional roadways and suggests Thanksgiving routes in and out of the region. If you’re among the millions of holiday celebrants traveling by car this year, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Don’t try to break any land speed records driving in Maryland. Plan out your route, keeping in mind that other drivers will take the same “short cuts” you’re planning to use. Be safe out there this Thanksgiving. You’ll have plenty of company on our Baltimore County, Md. roadways.
Related Maryland Injury Attorney Articles:
Maryland Foul Weather Driving Safety Tips : Stay Off the Road, and If You Must Drive – Prepare First, and Drive Defensively (Oct. 2012)
Maryland Among States at Highest Risk for Auto Crashes with Deer (Oct. 2012)
Maryland Seeks to Add More Teeth to Distracted Driver Laws (May 2012)
Thanksgiving Travel Tips from Maryland MVA
Thanksgiving Travel Forecast: Gridlock Ahead
Weather.com Nov. 13, 2012
Thanksgiving getaway guide: Advice for long-distance travel from D.C.
The Washington Post Nov. 10, 2012