The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and there are a few things to keep in mind before you cook turkey and all the fixings. There will be an increase in travel not just in Rhode Island but all over the country and an increase in house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Thanksgiving Day is “the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.”
AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005 with 1.6 million more people taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways compared with last year. AAA and INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predict travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. during the holiday.
The crowded airports get all the media coverage but driving is still statistically the most used mode of transportation during the Thanksgiving week. In 2016, there was an estimated 47 million people traveling 50 miles or more. Statistically, the average thanksgiving long-distance trip is 214 miles. week could be as much as three times longer than the optimal trip.
A couple of things to consider before traveling:
1) Automobile accidents are still one of the leading causes of death in America.
2) Traffic accidents rise on or around Thanksgiving.
3) Thanksgiving Eve is one of the biggest drinking days of the year (larger than St. Patrick’s Day or New Year’s Eve in some cities), which translates into a higher number of drunk driving accidents.
4) When you travel for the holidays, your home is left unattended and is a potential target for burglars
The potential for a car crash increases exponentially when there are more people on the roads. It is important to review your current auto insurance coverage to ensure you are adequately covered if an accident occurs
You may also want to take some precautionary homeowners insurance measures prior to Turkey Day:
- Make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is up to date.
- This includes checking if your covered for common holiday mishaps such as cooking fires.
- Review your homeowner’s or renters insurance policy to ensure you have at least HO-2 – or ‘Broad Form coverage’ – to cover you for fire damage.
- The increase in holiday house parties and guests leads to an increase of accidental injuries you may be liable for.
If you are hosting a holiday party where alcohol is present, remember that your tipsy guests are your responsibility. If your guest gets crashes their car, your homeowner’s insurance could be canceled due to “social host liability”.
Whether you are traveling thousands of miles away or simply driving a few cities over, you should take added measures to keep your home safe while you are away.
Consider the following tips for deterring potential thieves:
- Don’t advertise your travel plans on social media
- Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home, bring in the mail, water the plants, etc.
- Keep lights on a timer and use motion detectors for outdoor lights
- Consider purchasing a “smart doorbell” to bolster your home security
These are just some tips to keep in mind while you enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family.