Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Be A Courteous, Attentive Driver This Thanksgiving Holiday!

Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reminds everyone there will be an increase in traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday. Drivers should remain alert to changes along their normal route. Regardless of traffic patterns, safety should remain a priority.

The counting period for the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday weekend is from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 23, 2022, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 27, 2022. Troopers will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., enforcing all traffic laws, and available to assist the public. Over the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday counting period, 12 people were killed and 540 injured in 1,365 traffic crashes. Someone was injured or killed every 11 minutes over the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday.

Before you take a trip this holiday season, make sure your vehicles are in good condition and that you are well rested before they start driving. Remember: There is never a reason to speed, drive aggressively, or drive impaired.

Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri. The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter. Make good choices, so you’ll never have to say, “If I could just go back …”

If Missouri temperatures are accommodating, boating or fishing might become part of your Thanksgiving holiday weekend plans. Make sure your vessel’s navigation lights are operational. There is less daylight this time of year, so check your lights and have extra bulbs on board before you head out. The water is becoming colder, and hypothermia is also a concern. The body loses heat 25 times faster in water than in the air of the same temperature. If you take an unexpected plunge in cold water, it's important to get out of the water and into dry clothes as soon as possible. Always wear the proper life jacket and using caution to avoid falling overboard. Plan ahead: How would you exit the water if you inadvertently fell overboard? Does your boat have an exterior swim ladder to allow you to re-enter the vessel? It’s also important to tell someone about your plans to be on or near the water and where you’re going.

Watercraft operators must consider the effect their actions have on others: Share the waterway and use common sense, good judgment, and courtesy to ensure the safety of all. Life jackets save lives. Wear It!!

The public is encouraged to call the Patrol's Emergency Report Line (800) 525-5555 or *55 on your cellular phone if they witness criminal activity or experience an emergency. These phone numbers are operational for both highway and water emergencies. If your celebration includes alcohol, designate someone else to drive whether you are in your boat or your car. Please don't become a statistic.

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