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Stay safe on the drive home from your Thanksgiving holiday

At this moment, thousands of people throughout Georgia are busy relaxing after what has likely proven to be an exceptionally busy Thanksgiving week complete with cooking a huge dinner, visiting with seemingly innumerable relatives and, of course, making a long car trip.

Indeed, AAA has estimated that as many as 1.2 million people here in the Peach State will travel 50-plus miles away from home from Wednesday through Sunday, a considerably larger number than in recent years owing in large part to lower gas prices.

While the first part of the trip is now in the books, traffic experts are warning motorists that there is still the return voyage to consider and, by extension, that there is still the matter of safe driving to consider.

In case you remain unconvinced, consider that the National Safety Council has estimated that as many as 50,300 people will be seriously injured and another 437 will lose their lives over the Thanksgiving holiday. Closer to home, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 788 car accidents, including nine fatalities, over last year's long break.

As to what people can do to remain safe when returning home, experts offer the following safety tips:

  • Always obey the speed limit
  • Practice defensive driving
  • Minimize distractions in all forms, including those that are visual, cognitive or manual
  • Get sufficient sleep the night before driving and, if necessary, take breaks while driving
  • Buckle your seatbelt and ensure you are familiar with vehicle safety systems   

In the event you need extra incentive to drive safely, consider that the Georgia State Patrol will be out in full force on interstates, country roads and even city streets looking to catch motorists that are impaired, speeding or distracted.

Always remember that if you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one because of the negligence of another motorist that you do have options for seeking justice.

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