Local law enforcement expecting heavy Thanksgiving travel

Thanksgiving travel safety tips
Thanksgiving travel safety tips(WGEM)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:06 AM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - If you’re planning on traveling to celebrate Thanksgiving this year you’re not alone.

AAA is forecasting 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more this year. They said it’s the third busiest year for Thanksgiving travel since AAA started tracking back in 2000.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said they expect there to be heavy traffic between Wednesday and Sunday and they are urging travelers to take precautions.

Corporal Justin Dunn said planning ahead is a great way to keep safe. He said one thing drivers can do before they hit the road is make sure their car is in good working order.

“It’s a good idea to get your vehicle in to your local mechanic, have them look at it, make sure that it’s mechanically sound,” he said. “Also make sure you have good tires on your vehicles. One of the things we see you know with weather conditions changing, precipitation getting on the roadways, if you don’t have enough tread it’s hard to maintain that road surface.”

Dunn said he also recommends having a fully charged cell phone and a car charger, along with extra hats, blankets, gloves, and ice scrapers as well.

Dunn said the major cause of accidents troopers see is people not being safe drivers; not following the rules of the road or driving aggressive or distracted.

He said a simple thing drivers can do to stay safe is wear their seatbelt.

“It’s actually going to increase your probability of surviving a traffic crash or being seriously, physically injured by 40 to 50 percent,” Dunn said. “We do understand seatbelts are not a save all ok but the evidence is in the statistics you have a better probability of surviving that traffic crash by wearing them.”

Dunn said over last year’s Thanksgiving holiday there were 1,365 Missouri traffic crashes, resulting in 540 injuries and 12 deaths.

He said the Highway Patrol is participating in Operation CARE or Crash Awareness Reduction Effort. That means every available trooper will be out on the roads between Wednesday and Sunday.

Dunn recommends also checking the MoDOT Traveler Map for weather and road conditions before setting off.

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