AAA Offers Road Safety Tips for Holiday Travel

thanksgiving travel woman enjoys autumn leaves in forest

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 21, 2016)With over 1.3 million Virginians traveling this Thanksgiving Holiday weekend and over 90 percent them traveling by vehicle, the roads can be especially crowded. The number of travelers could lead to possible increases in crashes and breakdowns. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27. AAA Tidewater Virginia offers the following road safety tips and advice on what to do if your vehicle breaks down for those taking road trips this holiday season:

For Your Safety

  • Keep your doors locked, safety belts buckled and children safe and secure in properly installed safety seats.
  • Don’t let your gas tank fall below 1/3 tank.
  • Stay on main roads and highways.
  • Pack a flashlight, blanket and first-aid kit as well as emergency flares or reflective triangles should you break down.
  • If you are going on a long trip, pack an emergency ration kit of water and nonperishable food items such as fruit or granola bars.
  • When stopping for breaks, never let kids go to the restroom alone. Always lock vehicle doors, even if you’ll only be gone for a few minutes.
  • Carry a cell phone in case of emergencies.
  • Do not stop to help a disabled vehicle. Instead, call for help.
  • If stopping during night-time travel, choose a well-lighted, populated facility. Park where your vehicle can be seen.
  • If approached by someone while your vehicle is stopped, keep your doors locked and only roll your window down enough to hear what the person is saying.

If You Break Down

  • Move your vehicle off the road safely away from traffic.
  • Stay inside your vehicle, and make all passengers stay inside, too. Keep doors locked.
  • If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, ask all passengers to exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and stand away from traffic.
  • If you must walk to a phone, keep your group together.
  • Raise the vehicle’s hood, put a white cloth draped from the car window or tied to the door handle, or use reflective triangles or flares. Warning devices should be placed far enough away from the vehicle to give oncoming traffic time to react. A good rule of thumb: 3 devices at 100, 50, and 25 yards from the vehicle – or 300, 200, or 100 feet.
  • Only roll down the window enough to ask any passersby to call police.

As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.  For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia