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Safe Thanksgiving Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Safe Thanksgiving Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Contact:  pressoffice@dot.gov

Safe Thanksgiving Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Thanksgiving weekend in 2017 is projected to bring out the highest number of American travelers since 2005, and the U.S. Department of Transportation is focused on safety wherever you’re traveling.

Recently, the Department rolled out the first phase of its airline consumer website redesign as part of an effort to better help air travelers understand their rights.  The improved design and streamlined pages will help passengers access needed information before, during, and after their flights now that the busy holiday travel season has kicked off. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is urging air travelers to pack safe and leave hazardous materials at home. Many common items such as lithium batteries, lighters, and aerosols may be dangerous when transported by air. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause hazardous materials to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. Check the FAA’s Pack Safe website for the rules on carrying these items. When in doubt, leave it out.

As millions of Americans get on the roads to travel home and spend Thanksgiving holiday reconnecting with friends and loved ones, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is serving them a reminder: “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving is often an evening associated with drinking and socializing. From 2012 to 2016, over 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period (6:00 p.m. Wednesday to 5:59 a.m. Monday), making it the deadliest holiday on our roads.

NHTSA and its partners are urging the public and the media to help spread the word, and to take precautions, so everyone can “Make It to the Table” this Thanksgiving by:

  • Planning ahead and designating a sober driver before the first drink.
  • Using public transportation, a taxi, ride share service, or your community’s sober ride program to get home safely.
  • Downloading NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available on Google Play for Android devices and Apple’s iTunes Store for IOS devices. SaferRide allows users to call a taxi or a predetermined friend, and identifies the user’s location so he or she can be picked up.
  • Contacting law enforcement if you see a drunk driver on the road.
  • Wearing your seat belt, whether riding or driving.

The Federal Railroad Administration would like to remind the nearly 45.5 million Americans hitting the roads this holiday weekend to brush up on your state’s railroad crossing laws before you go. Nearly 94% of all rail-related fatalities and injuries occur at railroad crossings or due to trespassing. Sadly, almost all of these deaths or injuries are preventable.

The U.S. Department of Transportation would like to wish all Americans Happy Thanksgiving. Please, if you are traveling by air, rail, or on our nation’s roadways be prepared and arrive safely.

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