QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
Many families will be traveling over the weekend for family gatherings and troopers want to make sure you'll arrive to your destination safely.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Brent Bernhardt said last weekend's snowfall caused nine traffic deaths across Missouri and he says he doesn't want anyone to lose a loved one this time.
Bernhardt said it is good advice to watch local weather newscasts. He said since weather in the Midwest changes frequently, you will want to keep an eye on the weather where you're going.
Bernhardt says leaving 30 minutes to an hour early and paying attention to your driving are the two most important keys to keeping safe on the road in the winter.
"This is a big time to make sure that people understand that winter weather brings about a lot of driving challenges," Bernhardt said. "The keys to safe winter driving are planning and patience."
Bernhardt offered more advice to staying safe if you do have car trouble:
"It might be sometime before help can get to you," Bernhardt said. "So it is always good to think about things that you might carry in your car, being prepared. Making sure you have adequate amount of fuel because it may be that you have to rely on the heat from your vehicle to keep you warm."
Bernhardt says to make sure you have blankets, extra clothing and ice scrapers in your car before you take off.