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Turkey Day Tips for Road Safety

Life might be a highway, but who wants to drive all night long to get home for Thanksgiving?

The 411 for travel this is safety — and if you want to have smooth sailing along the byways this weekend, be sure to plug into 511, the state’s database for Maryland roads information.

You can call 511 or visit www.md511.org to find out about major incidents, delays, estimated travel times and weather conditions.

The State Highway Administration also is suspending all non-emergency roadwork on SHA-maintained roadways between 9 a.m. on Nov. 23  and the morning of Nov. 28. Emergency response units will patrol metropolitan interstates in case any motorists are stranded and need help.

More than 90 percent of all fatal traffic crashes are preventable, the SHA reported in a press release. Here are some of their tips for holiday travel:

  • Drive focused and ! No
  • Buckle up! It’s the law in Maryland and your number one defense in a crash.
  • A new Maryland law requires that you move out of the way for emergency vehicles.
  • Travel during off-peak hours and allow extra time for unexpected delays.
  • Check your vehicle’s lights, tires, battery and windshield wipers before you get behind the wheel.
  • Never drink and drive! , especially on Thanksgiving Eve — the biggest drinking night of the year.
  • If you have a cell phone, you can call #77 or 911 to report suspected aggressive or drunk drivers.
  • If you’re in a minor crash move your vehicle from the travel lanes — it’s Maryland law.
  • Place children in the , no airbags for the little ones, please.

In inclement weather:

  • Turn on those headlights when you’re using the wipers.
  • Pay special attention when you’re driving on wet roads.
  • Slow down, put extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you and drive defensively.
Brian Berg November 21, 2011 at 09:56 PM
If you're traveling with small children, make sure you're using the right car seat for your child and that it's installed correctly. Phoenix Children's Hospital has a free "Car Seat Helper" app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that walks you through the steps. Download links are at http://www.phoenixchildrens.com/carseat.

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