Millions of people will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday. The American Red Cross has steps to help you stay safe.
Nearly 49 million people are expected to take to the highways to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends* — making it one of the busiest times of the year for road traffic.
If you’re planning to travel by car, try to avoid the peak travel times and follow these American Red Cross tips to help keep you safe:
- Make sure your car is in good condition for a road trip.
- Pack an emergency preparedness kit, supplies and a first aid kit in your vehicle.
- Share travel plans with a family member or friend.
- Check the weather before departing and along your route. Plan for travel around any storms that may be coming.
- Be well rested and alert.
- Buckle up, slow down and don’t drive 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 off the road as far as possible.
If winter weather threatens and you become stuck in the snow, these tips are for you:
- Stay with the car. 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, away from the blowing wind, slightly open to let in fresh air.
- Carry an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk.
- Keep your car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
PLANES, TRAINS Almost six million people* will take a plane or train to get to where they are spending their holiday. If you’re one of them:
- Remember that everything you touch has to be touched by someone else — other passengers, luggage handlers, etc. Handle your own belongings as much as possible.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- It’s flu season. If you’ve been sick or been in contact with someone who is sick, consider postponing your trip. You could be contagious for a week before symptoms appear.
- 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.
Bonus tip: Download the Red Cross Emergency app for safety tips and customizable weather alerts for where you and your loved ones live, and areas where you are traveling. View source more from the Red Cross site