Thanksgiving Travel Tips: Drive safe and buckle up

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holiday-travel-driving-tipsAre you packing up the car for a Thanksgiving trip today? If so, you’re not alone. AAA said it expects 33.2 million Americans will travel by car 50 miles or more away from home this year — an increase of 2.1 percent over last year. And, most of those travelers will be on the road Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.

In an effort to keep travelers safe on the road, the Long Beach Police Department says they will aggressively enforce the California seat belt and child safety seat laws as part of a Click It or Ticket mobilization that lasts through November 30.

“The Click It or Ticket” campaign has shown that Californians have gotten the message that seat belts work,” said Police Chief Billy Quach. “But hundreds still are dying every year because they didn’t buckle up. Our officers will not accept excuses or give warnings. It really is Click It or Ticket.”

If stopped and found to be in violation, law enforcement will issue citations without warning. Tickets for first seat belt violations range from $80 to $91 for adults and $330 to $401 for children under age 16, depending on the county.

Teens and nighttime car occupants tend to be the worst offenders  when it comes to not buckling up. Officers will concentrate even more on ensuring they are properly restrained.

The following safe driver tips may also help Thanksgiving travelers navigate through highway traffic and arrive at safe at your destination:

  1. Prepare your vehicle for long distance travel. Check wipers and all fluids. Have the radiator and cooling system serviced. Simple maintenance can prevent problems that strand motorists on the side of the road.
  2. Plan Ahead Before getting on a highway. Know your exit by name or number and watch the signs once near the off ramp. Drivers who make unexpected lane changes to exit often cause accidents.
  3. Use a map or GPS Few motorists plan their routes. Even when driving through unfamiliar areas. Knowing the road is essential for safe driving. It allows one to anticipate lane changes and avoid a panicked search for directions.
  4. Create or check emergency kit. Contents should include: battery powered radio, blanket, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable foods, maps, tire repair kit and flares.
  5. Be aware of changes in the weather. Weather conditions across the country will be changing, especially early mornings and evenings with the cold. Watch out for ice, snow and other weather related obstacles.
  6. Do not cut in front of large trucks. Remember large trucks are heavier and take longer to stop.
  7. Be aware of truck blind spots. When sharing the road with large trucks, be aware of their blind spots. If the driver cannot see the truck driver in their mirrors, then the truck driver cannot see the driver.
  8. Slow Down. With the extra highway congestion due to holiday travel, speeding becomes even more dangerous. Allow plenty of space between other vechiles and reduce speed.

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