The time for turkey, sweaters, and giving is upon us. There’s no doubt that this Thanksgiving will be very different for many families with many medical professionals recommending that the population limit the number and size of gatherings as much as possible. The NHSA announced that they are still expecting a large percentage of the population to take to the roads this Thanksgiving. Fatalities in Kansas and Missouri are still on the rise. Here are a few things to consider if you are planning to travel during Thanksgiving.
- COVID Issues: Be aware of restrictions in other states, counties, and cities. Don’t forget to keep a mask handy. Be ready to cancel your travel plans if you feel ill or develop COVID symptoms.
- Distracted Driving: By far the biggest problem on the road as harried holiday shoppers compete with returning winter residents and holiday visitors. Parking lots are particularly risky as walkers mingle with distracted drivers.
- Drunk Driving: With residents slow to return to restaurants and clubs, safety advocates are concerned an increase in the number of holiday gatherings could increase the risk of irresponsible alcohol service. Party hosts must act responsibly and should know they may face legal liability in the event of an accident.
- Drowsy Driving: Long hours on the road and decreasing daylight combine to increase the number of collisions involving tired drivers. Statistics continue to show that driving while exhausted is as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and is just as deadly.
- Road Safety: Whether driving through the fierce weather at the end of Florida’s hurricane season, or breaking down on the side of the road, understanding the risks of a substantial travel schedule can help prepare you for the road trip. Having your vehicle serviced, with particular attention paid to your tires, and having a plan for breakdowns or substantial delays is necessary, particularly with ongoing COVID closures and delays.
- Aggressive Driving: Lastly, we all need to do our part and cut each other a break when behind the wheel. Tensions are already high, and the year-end holidays will increase stress for some of our neighbors and friends. Resolve to use basic courtesy and obey the rules of the road, including speed limits, passing zones, marked lanes, and traffic signals. By cutting each other some slack, we can all reach our destinations safely.
Thanksgiving gives us all the opportunity to help others in our community. Here are some charities and fundraisers who focus on helping the less fortunate to make sure that they have everything they need to have a memorable holiday season.
Holiday Charity & Fundraisers in Kansas City
- Salvation Army: https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/mokan/
- Operation Breakthrough: https://operationbreakthrough.org/how-you-can-help/christmas-program
- Kansas City Rescue Mission: https://kcrm.org/join-with-kcrm/thanksgiving-outreach/
- Sack it for Santa: https://fox4kc.com/tag/sack-it-for-santa/
- Kansas City Holiday Assistance: https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/kansas_city_free_christmas_and.html
- Johnson County Christmas Bureau: http://www.jccb.org/
- Ronald McDonald House of KC: https://www.rmhckc.org/holidays-at-rmhc-kansas-city/
- KVC Kansas: https://kansas.kvc.org/get-involved/holiday-giving/
- Childrens Mercy: https://www.childrensmercy.org/help-our-kids/donate-goods/
- Uncoverkc: https://uncoverkc.org/
- reStart, Inc.: https://restartinc.org/
- United Way of Wyandote County: https://community.unitedwaywyco.org/servlet/eAndar.article/292/You-Can-Help-for-the-Holidays/3742285D3E5E5B6940404E5432736330283F67407E3E