Being the site of the first Thanksgiving, the state of Massachusetts will certainly have its hands full this season. Many key cities will host Thanksgiving parades, concerts, shows, and street parties. Tourists, mostly out-of-towners, will be flocking to Plymouth and other historical places in Massachusetts.
They will be mingling with hordes of other people who have come to visit and spend Thanksgiving dinner with Massachusetts-based relatives and friends.
Like most public holidays, Thanksgiving abounds not just in festivities and entertainment, but also in untoward incidents in airports and on roads. Many forget to follow traffic safety rules, especially speed limits and DUI laws. Hot tempers flare up because of the unusually heavy traffic in and out of major cities. Just last year, there was a 50-mile traffic backup from the airport to a major freeway in Boston.
Luckily for this year, local weather conditions are predicted to be generally cool, sunny, and quite pleasant during Thanksgiving week. That’s all the more reason that many visitors will be bound for Massachusetts during that time.
If you have plans of visiting the state either because you are attending a Thanksgiving party or just want to enjoy its many attractions, you should take note of some travel safety tips.
On the road:
• Always stay updated with the latest road and weather conditions. This will also guide you in packing your clothes and in preparing other trip provisions.
• Make good use of GPS and other navigation apps for your phone. These will indicate any problems or conditions that could cause traffic, like construction activities or accidents. However, don’t use your phone while you are driving in order to obtain the information.
• Give yourself plenty of travel time so that you won’t feel frustrated in case of some occasional jams or delays.
• Have your vehicle checked with regard to engine, brakes, tires, oil level, etc. to avoid breakdowns and potential automobile accidents on the road.
• It’s good to check for alternate routes in case the main one is closed or is experiencing heavy traffic.
• Use your headlights after dark to see the road better.
• If traffic is heavy, take heart. The important thing is to get there in one piece.
• Have one or more companions take turns with you in driving. This will give you the chance to rest during the trip.
• Make a few stopovers to rest and stretch even for a few minutes.
• Always follow speed limits and other traffic laws.
• If some other driver cuts you off, don’t fight back. It’ll be his loss, not yours, if he gets into an accident.
• Avoid taking too much liquor during the Thanksgiving party. But if you couldn’t resist the temptation, at least accept your host’s invitation to stay for the night. If that seems uncomfortable, check in at a nearby hotel. And don’t drive there in your intoxicated condition!
At the airport and in flight:
• Follow security measures at the airport and on board.
• Check in beforehand or go to the airport early to avoid long lines and delays.
• Check your flight’s status prior to leaving for the airport.
• To ease tension while waiting for your flight, read a book or use your tablet.
• Take a light snack before your flight, in case there may be delays.
• Be observant of the people around you. Report any suspicious-looking activity.
• Keep seat belts on at most times during flights.
• Take naps if the flight is long so that you’re well-rested when you reach your destination.
Here’s to a safe and hassle-free Thanksgiving!
By Todd Beauregard