Do you know that more people travel during the Thanksgiving break during the Christmas holiday? A recent report revealed that during Thanksgiving, long-distance trips increase by 54%, more than double the 23% increase during the Christmas period.
Traveling during Thanksgiving in Colorado typically entails encountering wet roadways during winter, presenting challenges for you and your vehicle and making it essential to maintain a safety-first mindset as you embark on your trip. Below we provide simple yet critical tips for a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving road trip.
Ensure that you get enough rest before you set out for a road trip. Driving while tired impairs your ability in the same way as intoxication. According to the CDC, drowsiness affects concentration and coordination and reduces your reaction times. Resting will help you remain alert throughout the journey.
Also avoid consuming alcohol the night before your road trip which could result in the morning-after impairment. In Colorado, it is an offense to operate a vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. As long as you’re impaired, you can face DUI charges, even if your BAC is below 0.08%, with some of the potential penalties including fines, probation, jail time, and public service.
While you are on the road, focus on driving and avoid distractions. Engaging in careless or reckless driving is an offense in Colorado. According to Colorado law CRS 42-4-1401, reckless driving entails operating a vehicle with a disregard for other road users’ safety. Meanwhile, a driver may be guilty of careless driving if they don’t exercise sufficient regard for their surroundings.
Reckless driving is more severe than careless driving. A reckless driving conviction in Colorado is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A first offense is punishable with a fine ranging between $150 and $ 300 and a jail time between 10 and 90 days. A repeat offense may attract a jail time of up to six months and a fine of up to $ 1,000.
Distracted driving involves engaging in any activity that may shift your attention from the road. Common forms of distracted driving include using a mobile phone or eating while driving. In 2009, the state of Colorado passed a law against texting while driving but this law extends to other mobile phone activities like sending tweets or emails while driving.
The anti-texting law in Colorado applies to all drivers. This law prohibits drivers younger than 18 years from using a cell phone while driving. Violating the anti-texting law is a Class A traffic infraction. A first offense may attract a fine of $50, while a second offense is punishable by a fine of up to $100.
Leave early to eliminate anxiety about arriving late and you won’t feel tempted to speed. According to Colorado law, a violation of 1 to 24 mph above the posted speed limit is a Class A traffic infraction. A violation of 25mph or more is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.
You may also face Class A traffic infraction charges if you fail to reduce the speed to a practical level while operating a vehicle under hazardous conditions. It’s also advisable to leave early during Thanksgiving Day considering the heavy traffic and challenging weather likely to occur.
Traveling for Thanksgiving? Don’t let a car crash ruin your holiday. Use the above tips to remain safe. If you or a loved one experiences a car accident due to speeding, reckless or careless driving, or DUI in the Denver area, contact an experienced local attorney. Speak with a knowledgeable criminal and traffic attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC. Call today at (303) 635-6768 for a free consultation.