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Florida drivers: Use caution on the highways this week

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means people across Tallahassee are finalizing their holiday plans. For many of us, these plans include doing some driving. In fact, millions of people will be driving this Thanksgiving, which means there could be an increased risk of accidents.

This could be especially true for people traveling on interstates and highways, as data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that 95 percent of fatal accidents occur on highways. As such, drivers must take precautions to minimize their risk of accident in the next week.

Be patient and slow down

You might be in a hurry to get to Thanksgiving dinner or make it to a friend's house, but speeding and following others too closely is not the way to get there faster. These behaviors can make a driver lose control more easily, especially when driving at highway speeds.

As frustrating as highway traffic and slow drivers may be, motorists would be wise to take a deep breath, slow down and remember that getting somewhere safely is better than not getting there at all.

Don't drive impaired

Drowsiness, drunkenness and distraction are all impairing conditions that make a driver dangerous behind the wheel. When people are tired, intoxicated or distracted, they can fail to see upcoming obstacles or signals and they may not be able to react in time to changing road conditions.

If you are going to drive, make sure you are rested and sober. Put away your phone and focus on driving. If you cannot do these things, find someone else to drive.

Avoid the worst times

During the holidays, there are peak drive times and popular routes. Avoiding these can be critical in avoiding the frustration, delays and bad drivers that can come with holiday traffic. 

Think about adjusting your travel schedule so that you don't have to drive late at night. And use a GPS or maps app to route you around the areas with the most traffic. If you are driving in areas expecting bad weather, consider waiting until weather improves.

When people are mindful of their behaviors and take the time to be safe, everyone can have a happier holiday.

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