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Traveling for Thanksgiving? Read these safety tips

Millions of Americans will be traveling near and far this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends. Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents will put a damper on some people's holiday celebrations, as more cars on the roads means a greater chance for accidents.

To help a motor vehicle accident from derailing your holiday plans, consider these tips for avoiding a car accident from the Florida Highway Patrol:

Rest up before heading out on a road trip. Drowsy driving is a contributor to many serious accidents, and it is something that can be avoided by getting adequate rest before your travels, especially if you are the driver.

Follow all posted speed limits. Following the speed limit is especially important on roads that you are not familiar with. Speed limits are set for a reason, and they should be obeyed to avoid an accident or an expensive traffic ticket.

Don't drink and drive. Many people celebrate the holidays with beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages. However, if you plan on drinking, don't plan on driving. Instead, arrange a sober ride home or a place to stay.

Wear your seatbelt. Make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up. Not only are seatbelts the law, they are also the difference between life or death in the case of a serious accident. As the FHP notes, a seatbelt is still a vehicle's most effective safety feature.

Don't drive distracted. We often discuss how dangerous distracted driving is on our blog, and it doesn't matter if you are distracted by a cellphone, the radio, a meal or the person sitting next to you. While driving, your entire focus needs to be on the road at all times in order to avoid an accident.

Steps to take after a motor vehicle accident occurs

As we all know, car accidents aren't always avoidable. So in addition to knowing how to help avoid an accident, it's also important to know what to do in case an accident occurs.

The first step to take after an accident is to call police and get medical attention for everyone who needs it.

The next step is to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as you can such as contact and insurance information for all other drivers and passengers involved, witness statements, and photos of the scene.

The third step to take is to call an experienced personal injury lawyer who can make sure that your rights and interests are protected. Remember: Your insurance company has its own best interests in mind, which is why you need someone protecting yours.

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