There were 14 deaths and 634 injuries in 1,736 traffic crashes reported on Missouri’s highways during the 2008 Thanksgiving weekend travel period. And, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is out in force, this weekend, trying to cut down on those numbers this year.
Highway Patrol Captain Tim Hull says this year’s counting began Wednesday at 6 pm and runs through Sunday at 11:59 pm, with the length of this holiday weekend – four days – making it a weekend with a lot of carnage.
“Historically, it’s probably one of the more deadly holidays that we have,” said Hull in an interview with the Missourinet.
Speeding and alcohol consumption are two of the prime reasons for accidents and fatalities, but not the only reasons.
“Driver inattention and then something that contributes to a lot of the injuries and deaths is a lack of seatbelt use,” said Hull.
In addition to warning about drivers using drugs or alcohol, the Highway Patrol offers some very good advice regarding the weather.
“This time of year the weather changes quite rapidly, so that’s something else to keep in mind,” said Hull. “Always keep an eye and ear to the TV or the radio and keep track of what the weather’s doing … This time of year you can get up in the morning and it’s 60 degrees outside and the sun is shining and by the afternoon it could be snowing and the roadway is covered.”
The heavy travel times are at the start and end of the long weekend. Phase one was experienced Wednesday afternoon and evening, with another critical period coming Sunday afternoon and evening when a lot of people who went away for the weekend start to return.