KSP offering safe driving tips for Thanksgiving holiday

FRANKFORT, KY (FOX19) --The Kentucky State Police is offering some tips to keep you safe while traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to AAA, approximately 39.7 million drivers will be on the roads during the Thanksgiving Holiday. That is a 12% increase from last year.

Kentucky State Police will be boosting road patrols and operating safety checkpoints throughout Kentucky beginning on November 24 at 6:00pm and will end on November 28 at 11:59pm. These efforts will be coordinated with local police and sheriffs, KSP troopers and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers.

" Higher traffic volumes, combined with increased numbers of out-of-state visitors traveling to or through the state have potential to produce added risk for highway travel, " said KSP Commander Rodney Brewer. " Last year, there were 1,113 motor vehicle crashes on Kentucky Road sways during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period. Eight people died and 325 were injured."

KSP is urging all motorists to follow these tips to keep safe on the roadways:

  • Don't drink and drive. Kentucky has a zero tolerance policy regarding driving while impaired by alcohol. Violators risk immediate arrest even for first time offenders.
  • Buckle up. This is one of the most effective methods to protect against injury or death in a motor vehicle crash. State law makes the driver responsible for assuring that all vehicle occupants are properly restrained.
  • Use approved child restraints. Kentucky law requires that all children 40 inches in height or less be buckled into a child safety seat that meets federal standards. Children more than 40 inches tall must wear a seat belt.
  • Slow down and obey speed limits. Studies show that higher travel speeds are responsible for a significant increase in highway traffic deaths.
  •  Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in attention, slowed awareness and impaired judgment.
  • Be extra cautious around large trucks. These vehicles have large blind spots and much longer stopping distances than passenger cars.
  •  Don't tailgate. Follow other vehicles at a safe distance.
  • Expect the unexpected. Watch traffic around your vehicle and be prepared to react. Scan the road ahead for potential hazards such as other vehicles and road debris.
  •  Take extra care on rural roads with 55 mile per hour speed limits.
  •  Avoid in-car distractions such as cell phone use, changing CDs, channel surfing or eating or drinking.
  •  Take frequent breaks to keep alert during long distance trips.
  •  Be extra alert around construction zones.

Drivers can help keep the roads safe by reporting anyone driving erratically, impaired motorist, or drivers who are speeding by calling 1-800- 222-5555.