Sleigh bells. Carolers. Laughter. Joyful greetings. These are sounds everyone wants to hear during the holidays. Unfortunately, breaking glass, crunching metal, and calls for assistance are heard all too often. The Missouri State Highway Patrol asks motorists to make safety a priority this holiday season.
Last year, there were 1,618 traffic crashes during the Christmas counting period. In those crashes, seven people were killed and another 541 were injured. During the 2017 Christmas holiday, troopers arrested 92 people for driving while impaired.
So, what can you do to improve traffic safety this holiday season? Check your vehicle before you travel to ensure that it is in good working condition. Make sure you are well rested before driving to your destination, no matter how short the distance. Keep an eye on the weather. Above all, please, please obey all traffic laws, be a courteous driver, and drive sober.
Remember: Holiday drivers will affect traffic patterns. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. The Road Condition Report number is 1-888-275-6636. Allow extra time to reach your destination and obey all traffic laws.
The 2018 Christmas holiday counting period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 21, 2018, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, December 25, 2018.
If faced with a traffic emergency, motorists can contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. This emergency number will ring into the nearest Highway Patrol headquarters. Motorists should use this number if they are in a traffic crash, witness a crash or crime, or observe a stranded motorist in need of assistance, or other traffic emergencies.
“Please be a safe, courteous driver this holiday season,” said Lieutenant Colonel Eric T. Olson, acting superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “If your plans include alcohol, designate a sober driver. On behalf of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, I want to wish everyone a safe, merry Christmas!”
The only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as we travel on Missouri’s roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. “Don’t Violate The Trust.”
Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter @MSHPTrooperGHQ
There’s no place like home for the holidays. Please, plan ahead, pay attention, and arrive safely.