Patrol advises safe travels over Thanksgiving holiday
Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reminds everyone there may be an increase in traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday. If so, drivers should remain alert to changes along their normal route. Regardless of traffic patterns, safety should remain a priority.
"No matter how many vehicles are sharing the road, it's important to be a courteous and attentive driver," said Col. Olson. "This year's Thanksgiving holiday weekend might look different from past year's due to the pandemic. No matter how many vehicles are on the road, driving with the highest degree of care is everyone's responsibility, and following all traffic laws is imperative."
The counting period for the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday weekend is from 6 p.m. Wednesday, November 25, 2020, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 29, 2020. Troopers will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., enforcing all traffic laws, and available to assist the public. Over the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday counting period, 11 people were killed and 634 injured in 1,594 traffic crashes.
Drivers should make sure their vehicles are in good condition and that they are well rested before they start driving. Remember: There is never a reason to speed, drive aggressively, or drive impaired.
"Every driver needs to pay attention," said Col. Olson. "Driving is a full-time job. Please turn off your cell phone, drive sober, and remember to buckle up. We want everyone to have a safe Thanksgiving holiday.
If temperatures are mild, boating or fishing might become part of your Thanksgiving holiday weekend plans. If so, remember there is less daylight, which makes your vessel's navigation lights essential. Check your lights and have extra bulbs on board before you head out. This time of year, the water is becoming colder and hypothermia is 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. Most boaters wear more clothing this time of year, so the proper wearing of life jackets and using caution to avoid falling overboard is even more important. Having a plan as to how you would exit the water if you inadvertently fell overboard is imperative. For example, does your boat have an exterior swim ladder to allow you to re-enter the vessel?
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.