It’s that time of year where people are more likely to visit relatives…even in the middle of a pandemic. We believe in safety in all forms, which is why we discussed safety steps for the Thanksgiving holiday in our blog, “Safety First, Always” last month. In it, we shared some of our top recommendations for safe travel both on the roads and among family members. You can read the full article here.
Like we suspected, the number of travelers is drastically lower than previous years, and with good reason. With that being said, there were still many Ohioans who traveled this Thanksgiving holiday both within our state border and across state lines. According to Vox, the “Transportation Security Administration screened more than 4 million airline passengers during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday travel period, and a total of 9.5 million passengers over a 10-day period.”
This was only the second time US airport security checkpoints screened more than 1 million people since March, according to the Transportation Security Administration as reported by CNN. It may sound like a lot of travelers to us now, but that’s just 40% of the number of people screened last year on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
If the uptick in car and plane travel in Thanksgiving, as well as other national holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, is any indication of where the December holidays might go, we can expect even more people back on the roads after a relatively low traffic year.
December isn’t exactly the most optimal time to be out on the roads in Ohio, especially this year. The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting an especially cold and “very flaky” winter in the Buckeye State. These conditions are perfect for slippery ice to form on our roadways, leading to an increased likelihood for accidents.
We recommend staying close to home for a variety of reasons, ranging from you and your family members’ personal health to our shared roadway safety. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still connect this holiday season. Rather than a large gathering in person, schedule a few virtual parties to get together groups of friends and extended family that would otherwise never have the chance to see each other. If you can’t bear to stay in your own home for the holidays, opt for drive-by visits with relatives who live in your hometown. Traditional family visits may look differently, but we have a feeling they’ll feel all the sweeter after a socially distant year.
If you are traveling this time of year for any reason, whether to mail gifts to distant relatives or get together with family after self-quarantining and taking all safety measures, OSHA recommends all drivers follow the three P’s of Safe Winter Driving:
- Prepare = Prepare for the trip.
- Protect = Protect yourself.
- Prevent = Prevent crashes on the road.
Learn more about OSHA’s recommendations here.
Not only should drivers take extra precautions while driving in wintry conditions, workers, too, should take the time to make the jobsite safe, by doing things like:
- Setting up traffic controls like cones and barriers to direct traffic.
- Wearing safety vests to increase visibility.
- Staying aware of the surroundings at all times.
As a member of the construction industry, we invite you to join us in supporting our mission for safety beyond the jobsite and everywhere you go, in every way you can.
Happy Holidays, everyone!