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Highway Patrol reminds drivers to stay safe during holiday travel

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to be safe as they hit the roads for a busy day of holiday travel, during the last day of the Highway Patrol's 2021 Thanksgiving Holiday Counting Period.

The counting period for the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday weekend started at 6 p.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and runs through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

So far during this holiday counting period, MSHP's website reports 76 crashes across the state. During the 2020 holiday counting period, troopers reported a final tally of 321 crashes resulting in 72 injuries and 10 deaths.

Troopers additionally made 100 DWI arrests during last years counting period with an additional 78 drug arrests.

Extra troopers have been patrolling all major Missouri Roadways over the holiday weekend, like I-70, Highway 63, AND Highway 54.

Corporal Kyle Green said Sunday will be a major travel day.

"Today is a very busy travel day, you can expect all the major highways and interstates to be pretty busy," Green said.

Green said it is not uncommon for crashes to happen on busy traffic days and it's important to drive safe.

"Make sure everybody's got a seatbelt on make sure that you're not speeding, make sure you're not riding with someone that is impaired or impaired yourself," Green said.

Green said drowsy driving is common when driving for long periods of time. Green recommends drivers take occasional breaks to wake themselves up.

The Patrol said too many people die in crashes each year and said driving safety must be a priority.

This year, troopers said drivers should, "make sure their vehicles are in good condition and that they are well rested before they start driving." "Too many people die in traffic crashes each year in Missouri," MSHP said in a press release. "The choices you make when you’re behind the wheel matter."

Colonel Eric T. Olson, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol also reminded drivers to expect increased traffic during the holiday season and to be prepared for changes to drivers normal routes.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.

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