Give thanks for safe travels this holiday

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Thanksgiving holiday is usually one of travel and cheer. Unfortunately, it can also be a very dangerous time on Missouri roads.

During the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday there were 1372 traffic crashes, and four fatalities on Missouri's roadways.

"The sheer number of crashes, injuries and deaths during this holiday are startling enough, but worse yet, most of those deaths and injuries could have been prevented," said Leanna Depue, executive chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "With more people traveling, the possibility for traffic incidents increases, but there are many things motorists can do to keep themselves safer on the roads."

Before heading to Thanksgiving dinner, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety urges families to plan their travel ahead of time. With increased traffic and hurried travelers, safety needs to be the top priority.

Families can make their holiday travel safer by following these tips:

* Plan the trip. MoDOT has expanded and upgraded its Traveler Information mobile app. This app offers the latest information on Missouri road conditions, work zones, flooding and incidents for iPhones, Androids, iPads and tablets.

* Buckle up. The use of safety belts and child restraints is one of the best ways to prevent death and personal injury when involved in a traffic crash.

* Don't drive distracted. Concentrate only on driving and pay close attention to other motorists.

* Obey the laws of the road. Speeding is a contributing factor of the fatal and personal injury crashes during the holidays.

* Don't drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If planning to drink, designate a driver, or call a cab.

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