Safety a big concern with drivers returning home - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Safety a big concern with drivers returning home

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, and many will celebrate the holiday well into the night with drinks.

Troopers say holidays mean more drunk drivers on the road. Trooper Mike Kindhart with Illinois State Police said he hopes you make the right decision when leaving.

"Well when we know that there is an increase in the traffic volume that we have, and Thanksgiving holiday being one of the busiest holidays that we have throughout the year, we want everyone to focus at the task at hand and everyone have the opportunity to arrive at their destination safely," Kindhart said. "One driving fatality is one too many."

Kindhart said if you plan to drink, stay at the house or call on someone to pick you up. He said it's not worth the risk on a holiday that is supposed to be filled with thanks.

Another concern troopers have is drowsy driving. Many drivers think they are fit to drive when tired, but this makes them run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel, especially on those long trips. Sergeant Brent Bernhardt with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said it's more severe than one imagines.

"Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as impaired driving," Bernhardt said. "Certainly when you're out working the road, we see people that sometimes are exhibiting the characteristics of somebody that may be impaired on alcohol or on drugs. Many cases we find out it's just simply fatigue."

Bernhardt said that when you start to feel tired, pull over to a safe area and move around to wake up or take a nap. He said continuing to drive while tired is dangerous to others and yourself.
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