Millions of people are expected to travel over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and the American Red Cross is offering tips travelers can follow as they visit loved ones over the long weekend.
“More vehicles are expected on the highways, making travel risks greater,” said Colin Down, communications director for the Northwest Region. “Bad weather and distracted drivers also add to the danger, so plan ahead and expect delays.”
• Make sure your car is in good condition for a road trip.
• Pack an emergency preparedness kit and supplies in the trunk.
• Share travel plans with a family member or friend.
• Check the weather along your route and plan for travel around any storms that may be coming.
• Be well rested and alert.
• Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drive while impaired.
• Follow the rules of the road and use caution in work zones.
• Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
• Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
• If you have car trouble, pull of the road as far as possible.
Other safety tips
• Keep the car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Pull over and stay with your vehicle. Do not try to walk to safety.
• Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
• Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won’t back up in the car.
• Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
• Keep one window slightly open – away from the blowing wind – to let in air.
Public transportation and preventing the spread of the flu virus:
• Everything you touch is likely touched by someone else – luggage, seats, etc. – which is how germs are spread.
• Handle your own belongings. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
• Carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes with you. You can use them to wash your hands or wipe down surfaces such as armrests.
• Bring your own pillows and blankets – they can act as a shield against the seat itself.
• Avoid touching your face or eyes. If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your sleeve.
People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.