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Be careful on roads this fall

Many people in Chicago, Illinois, are eagerly preparing for Thanksgiving, with visions of butter-drenched baked potatoes, homemade gravy, perfectly seasoned stuffing and fresh corn along with family reunions. For many, this will involve extra travel. For that reason, it is critical to take extra care to avoid motor vehicle accidents, because of the sheer volume of vehicles that will be on the road and because drivers who are focused on the turkey they intend to cook or their ongoing dispute with their Aunt Sally may not be focused on traffic safety.

Correspondingly, take all the precautions that you can when driving on the roads. First of all, don't drink and drive. Drinking alcohol impairs your ability to safely manage your vehicle and navigate the roads. It damages your judgment and slows your reflexes.

This can endanger you, your family and people in other vehicles. It simply isn't worth the risk. If you will be attending a get-together where you plan to have alcohol, arrange to sleep over there, to have a designated driver who does not drink drive you home or to have a taxi pick you up at a specific time. Make those arrangements before you go.

Of course, being in good shape when driving isn't limited to avoiding drinking and driving. It also includes driving only when you are well-rested, alert and can pay attention to your vehicle, other vehicles, the road and everything else that can affect the safety of you and your passengers. Planning ahead helps with this too, as you can choose a time of day when you are most alert to travel.

Additionally, inspect your vehicle before you set out. That includes the seat belts that children will be using and the seat belts that adults will be using. There is no such thing as taking too much care to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.

Source: HuffPost, "Top Five Driving Tips for Thanksgiving Week Travel," Julie Lee, accessed Oct. 27, 2017

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