Missouri Highway Patrol prepares for Thanksgiving travelers

(MGN Online)

Thinking about getting out of town for Thanksgiving? You're not alone.

AAA says this holiday week from Wednesday to Sunday will be the busiest Thanksgiving travel week in 12 years.

Starting Wednesday through Sunday, the Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., which stands for Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort.

The mission is to promote safety and reduce traffic crashes.

During that time, troopers will be assigned to patrol Missouri highways, not only aggressively enforcing traffic laws, but also to be available in the event drivers experience any type of emergency.

Troop B officers will conduct special enforcement operations on U.S. Highway 63 and portions of U.S. Highway 24 and 36.

"There are a lot of things that cause traffic crashes, and one of the things we see the most on holiday weekends like this is speed and inattentive driving," MSHP Sgt. Eric Brown said. "Officers are going to be aggressively enforcing the speed laws and they will be watching for violations that correlate with distracted driving such as varying speeds, following too closely and failing to drive in a single lane. Those are the two more common things we see that causes distracted crashes this time of year. They will also be focusing on removing impaired drivers from the roadway. We ask that if alcohol is a part of your plans, just to designate a sober driver."

Another reminder, make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint.

During the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 14 people were killed and another 533 were injured in 1,426 traffic crashes.

That means one person was killed or injured in a traffic crash every 10.8 minutes in Missouri over last year's Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.

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