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Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Safety

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest times on U.S. highways, as millions of Americans hit the road to share time with families and friends.

Claudia McCormick, director of the Trauma Program at Duke University Medical Center, has a piece of advice to keep holiday travel safe and healthy. She emphasizes trip preparation and driver attention to help avoid problems on the road.

"Take your car in, have it checked over, make sure it's ready for travel," she says. "As you get out in the car, be sure and wear your seatbelt. Make sure you're plenty rested when you drive and take frequent rest stops. Check the local radio stations for the latest traffic updates. Never drink and drive, and keep your focus on the road and not on that telephone."

Once travelers with young children safely arrive at the home of friends or relatives, McCormick says they should take a few minutes for a brief inspection to ensure that the environment is safe for youngsters.

"Check to be sure that medications are up high and out of their reach and that any toxic substances are locked away where they can't get at them.

"Remember, if someone's not used to having small kids around, they won't normally be aware of those kinds of things," adds McCormick, "so it'll be up to you, when you get to a new place, to make sure your child is safe."

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