Driving to your Thanksgiving destination can be demanding. Read our tips to help you get there safely with a little less stress (if that’s possible).
We all want to know the secret to beating the Thanksgiving week traffic out of Boston. To help, we have put together a few travel tips. Please travel safely, be patient and enjoy this special time of year with your family and friends.
Traffic Apps and Resources. Here are a few websites for travelers: Boston.com/Traffic or Mass511.com. Traffic apps: Google Maps, Waze, AAA or GoTime.
Boston’s Worst Traffic Bottlenecks. AAA is reporting on the Boston region’s 10 top traffic bottlenecks for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. They include several locations along Interstate 93, Interstate 95 and the MassPike (Interstate 90). Read the full list now before you drive. Try to avoid them if you can.
Check Your Car. Whether you drive your own car or rent a vehicle, spend a few minutes in the driver’s seat before you leave. Make sure you know how to use key features such as the blinkers, headlights and the heating system. Many new vehicles now have complex infotainment systems. Decide now what features you need to use for this trip – and which are distractions.
Essentials. Make sure your motor vehicle registration is in your glove compartment and that you have your health insurance card (or cards if you are a parent traveling with children).
Choose the Best Travel Times. AAA predicts a 3 percent increase in holiday travel this year, so we know to expect more traffic. Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon will be the most challenging time, according to Waze. Another busy travel time is Thanksgiving Day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Plan to Stop. Take a break to fend off fatigue and let kids burn off energy. Stop once every two hours.
Gas Up and Emergency Kit. Always start your trip with a full tank of gas. Then, make sure you have a strong emergency kit, with jumper cables, a quart of motor oil, coolant, a first aid kit and a toolkit. Find your auto club membership, a safety vest, a flashlight with extra batteries and a roadside flare. Finally, pack warm clothes, blankets and your cell phone charger.
Commit to Use Your Cell Phone Safely. Our best tip for you is to turn your phone off. If you are traveling with someone, ask them to hold your cell phone and receive occasional phone calls or traffic alerts for you.
When traffic is heavy, a driver can cause a multi-car pile-up with a single glance at a cell phone – and that’s on any given day. The traffic is much worse during the Thanksgiving Week. That is why texting while driving is banned in Massachusetts and 46 other states, and why many are pushing to see Massachusetts ban all cell phone use by drivers.
No Drinking and Driving Accidents. Drunk driving accidents increase during the holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving week. Always, always travel with a designated driver who agrees not to drink. Or do not consume alcohol. No one ever regrets making this decision the next morning.