The Highway Patrol says this weekend will see high traffic volume on Missouri’s highways, and planning a little extra drive time could keep the roads safer. Spokesman John Hotz says the Highway Patrol is starting it’s 20 mile trooper program tonight. The program puts more patrolmen on major highways, because Hotz says more officers means safer drivers. He says when people see a patrol car they automatically check their speed and become a little more aware.

He says not to forget things like making sure all passengers have proper seatbelts or restraints in cars. Those who are towing boats or large loads should make sure everything is secured properly. Things falling off cars cause accidents on the highways when they’re as crowded as they will be this weekend, because accidents often mean injuries.

He says last year 10 people died during Labor Day weekend in car accidents. He says 515 were injured, and 190 DWI arrests were made. He says proper planning and being aware of other drivers would cut these numbers down significantly. He says if drinking is part of the celebration, sober drivers need to be designated or cabs, busses or other transportation needs to be ready. He says sleeping at a friend’s house is a good option too.

The Highway Patrol is participating in a nation-wide effort called C.A.R.E. which stands for Combined Accident Reduction Effort. It puts all available troopers out on the road during the holiday weekend, all over the state and across state lines.

He says motorists who need help on the highways can call star 55 for help from the Highway Patrol. He says routine maintenance on cars will keep them from overheating and stalling in the heat this weekend. Keeping a cell phone and some water in the car is a good idea in case the car breaks down.

Triple A estimates Missourians will make 590 thousand trips in the car this weekend.