Avoid Thanksgiving Holiday Traffic: Four Tips

It isn’t easy to believe, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner! For many of us, that means time spent with family, friends, and loved ones. But it can also mean long car trips and plenty of traffic.

If you have plans to hit the road this Thanksgiving, here are helpful tips to avoid traffic headaches:

Plan Your Route In Advance

Luckily, even the cartography-challenged can find their way around with the help of technology. There are plenty of apps and websites that can help you plan your route and avoid traffic congestion.

Access to real-time traffic data is a huge help in avoiding getting stuck in a traffic jam. Waze is a great option that uses user-generated data to provide up-to-the-minute information on traffic, accidents, and more. Google Maps is another popular option that offers similar features.

Leave Early…Or Late

Rush hour traffic is the enemy of holiday travelers. If you can, avoid busy thoroughfares, such as downtown areas, during the busiest times of the day. Generally, these hours are from 7-9 AM, during the noon hour, and 4-6 PM.

You can avoid hassle, delays, and frustration by avoiding busy areas at busy times of the day. If you must travel during these times, consider taking a less-traveled route.

Before leaving, check that you’re carrying your Driver’s License, Insurance, Roadside Assistance Cards, Title, and Registration. Also, check your vehicle’s fluid levels, brakes, windshield wipers, lights, and tires – including the spare.

Be Prepared for Inclement Weather

Bad weather can put a damper on even the best-laid travel plans. So before you hit the road, check the forecast for your destination and along your route. If you’re driving in unfamiliar territory, be sure to take extra caution.

If you get caught in bad weather, remember to take it slow. Accelerate and brake gradually, increase your following distance, and use your low-beam headlights. And be sure to watch for other drivers who are distracted!

Avoiding accidents is a surefire way to avoid traffic delays. But if you find yourself in an accident or other roadside emergency, remember that help is just a phone call away.

Adjust Your Plans Or Route As Necessary

The Thanksgiving holiday is already stressful enough. So if you are planning a Thanksgiving getaway, stay flexible. For instance, while you might have plans to take the backroad route to Auntie’s house if inclement weather conditions kick up, taking a more traveled road plowed and treated for ice and snow might be a better option.

Another example is if you find yourself unexpectedly caught in traffic. If you can take an alternate route, consider doing so. Again, Google Maps and Waze can come in handy here, as they can often reroute you around traffic delays.

And if all else fails, remember that the family will still be there when you finally arrive. After all, it’s not the destination. It’s the journey!

Armed with these tips, you can avoid traffic this Thanksgiving and get to your destination with your sanity intact.

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