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Turkey Trot Safe Driving
Chicago Tribune

Turkey Trot Driving: 5 Ways to Ensure Everyone Stays Safe This Thanksgiving

A Turkey Trot is a footrace that takes place on the morning of Thanksgiving Day. Although some Turkey Trots are very competitive, spanning distances not unlike professional marathons, the majority of them are more casual. Some participants even dress up like turkeys or pilgrims to celebrate the holiday.

Turkey Trots are a great way for family and friends to burn a few calories before chowing down on all the delicious Thanksgiving food. Since most casual Turkey Trot events guide racers through local towns and cities, traffic can get a little congested in the morning.

If you happen to be running some last-minute errands because you need more flour or sugar, make sure you follow these 5 Turkey Trot Tips to ensure everyone’s safety.

Tip #1: Make Note of Closed Roads

More than likely, your local police will close a few roads due to heavy foot traffic. In order to avoid frustration, use a GPS app on your phone that can pinpoint which roads are closed so you can map out a different route. Since turkey trotters will be crossing the streets quite frequently, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t following them all the way to the store.

Tip #2: Pay Attention to Police Officers

On the morning of a Turkey Trot, you may notice more police cars than usual. Local law enforcement typically deploys additional officers to take control of traffic. As you approach intersections, look for police officers standing in the middle of the road. Although your light may be green, it’s important that you pay attention to the officer’s directions on whether you can proceed.

Tip #3: Look Out for Stragglers

Aside from keeping a close eye on racers running across the street, it’s important that you don’t forget about the stragglers. Not everyone who participates in a Turkey Trot actually trots. Many children and older adults would rather walk than run in the colder weather. Take a longer pause after each time you stop just to make sure everyone has made it across the road safely.

Tip #4: Drive Slower Than Usual

Although driving extremely slow can sometimes be just as dangerous as driving too fast, maintaining a speed that’s approximately 5 mph slower than the posted limit can help increase safety. It allows you more reaction time if you become overwhelmed with an unusual amount of foot traffic. You’ll also never know when you’ll need to stop abruptly.

Tip #5: Be Mindful of Other Drivers

Chances are you won’t be the only person on the road Thanksgiving morning. Other drivers will be out and about picking up a few things at the grocery or getting in one last workout before the holidays. Since these other drives will also be maneuvering through turkey trotter traffic—say that five times fast—be mindful of their driving habits.

Most importantly, be kind and share the road. That turkey in your fridge isn’t going anywhere. Its trotting days are over.

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