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Highway Patrol to track injuries for Thanksgiving holiday, gives road-safety tips

Drivers heading to their Thanksgiving destinations hit the road Wednesday. With them, traffic on major Missouri highways. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said the day before Thanksgiving is usually one of the busiest days of travel in the state.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, MSHP's counting period began. Troopers will record the injuries and deaths that happen on the road until Sunday night, after Thanksgiving traffic has slowed down.

“We would like that number to be zero,” Cpl. Kyle Green, of MSHP, said. “Unfortunately, each year we have a certain number of people that end up being severely injured or killed in these traffic crashes.”

Last year, more than 114 injuries and nine people died on the roads during the 2021 counting period. The number of people driving this year is expected to go up, an AAA report predicts. Nationwide Thanksgiving road trips have risen 0.4 % from 2021.

In Missouri, rest areas like the Midway Auto Truck Plaza saw some of those Thanksgiving travelers today.

Among them were Amy and Mike Cusunan, who are on their way to a family member’s house in Kansas City for the holiday.

“Traveling around the holidays is always kind of stressful,” Mike said. “And it's always crowded, but it's only a four hour drive for us, or a 30-minute flight, which would actually take longer door-to-door.”

A trucker who stopped for lunch at the Plaza said while he noticed more vehicles on the road, people were friendlier around the holidays. However, he’d had his experience with a few road-rage episodes.

In the case of an aggressive driver, MSHP recommends letting those cars to pass and not, “handle those things yourself.” Additionally you can always call *55 to provide troopers with license-plate numbers.

Other tips from the patrol: Buckle up when driving. Troop F, which serves the Mid-Missouri area, tweeted on Monday saying that of nine injury crashes last week, almost half weren’t wearing their seat belts.

“Make sure that you leave for your destination with plenty of time so you don't catch yourself having to speed trying to make up for it,” Green added. “Make sure that whoever is driving the vehicle hasn't been drinking, and making sure that all occupants in the vehicle are wearing their seat belts.

"If we can get everybody to do that, I think it'll have a great impact in terms of reduction in the number of crashes that we work.”

Article Topic Follows: News
holiday travel
Missouri state highway patrol

Abby Landwehr


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