Drive safe this Thanksgiving weekend

27 Nov 2013 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Arriaga

Thanksgiving week is the most traveled time of the year according to AAA statistics.

An estimated 43.4 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving, which means the streets will be more crowded and more dangerous.

“There’s a lot of traveling going on during the holidays, and if you really think about it, Thanksgiving is the first major holiday,” said John M. Ruth, a safety and occupational health specialist aboard Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “There are folks going on leave and people making big plans, and things start getting crazy.”

In order to be safest during holiday travel, proper planning is essential.

“Make sure your car is ready to go and make sure you are ready to go by getting a good night’s rest the night before,” said Ruth. “If you are going to have passengers with you have some sort of plan as well as a backup plan.”

Additionally, weather should be taken into consideration when traveling for the holidays.

“Everyone should be contacting their local weather stations and their state highway patrol in order to see what the weather will be like on their trip,” said Ruth. “Especially this holiday season with storms, having a plan is your best route.”

According to Ruth, in case of an emergency, travelers should have cell phones, extra cash in their pocket, extra food and water in their car, and someone should know where you are traveling. If something happens to your car, Ruth recommends you stay close to it and try to conserve as much battery power as possible.

There have been four fatalities among Marines involving a motor vehicle since October of this year, said Ruth.

“It only takes a second to become a statistic,” he said. “Don’t get distracted by the holiday season because it’s not worth the risk sometimes and these are our brothers and sisters who are dying.”
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point