TxDOT Offers Thanksgiving Travel Tips as Holiday Season Begins
Possibility of severe winter weather, crowded roads calls for extra caution while driving
AUSTIN — With inclement weather recently hampering travel conditions in north and west Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation reminds drivers to stay off roadways as much as possible during severe winter weather and use extreme caution when travel is necessary this holiday season. According to the AAA, more than 3 million Texans will travel by car this Thanksgiving season.
“Historically, the busiest travel days are the day before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving,” said Phil Wilson, TxDOT executive director. “Thanksgiving is a time to be spent with family and friends, so we want to make sure Texans get to where they need to be safely.”
Motorists who must drive during bad weather are reminded to drive to conditions – that means lowering your speed when it’s raining or if there’s snow and ice. Also, allow extra travel time to reach your destination and leave plenty of room between your car and the one you’re following.
In 2012, there were 952 serious injuries and 48 deaths from traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday reporting period. In an effort to reduce the number of traffic fatalities this year, TxDOT is asking drivers to follow a few simple rules of the road:
- Pay attention – put phone away and limit distractions
- Buckle seatbelts – everyone in car has to be buckled
- Drive to conditions – slow down when weather is bad
- Left lane for passing only
- Never drink and drive
- Obey all traffic laws
Drivers also should:
- Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained.
- Stay tuned to local news, road closures, changing conditions and weather alerts.
- Check online highway conditions information at www.DriveTexas.org
DriveTexas is mobile friendly and a great tool that offers real-time road conditions, traffic and weather feeds. Travelers also can call TxDOT’s highway conditions line at (800) 452-9292 for routing and trip-planning information.
More Tips for Safe Highway Travel
The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel holidays of the year, particularly on the nation's highways. TxDOT and AAA-Texas want you and yours to be safe this holiday season, and that safety starts before you ever get into the car. This podcast with Doug Shupe of AAA-Texas offers more information. For more travel safety tips, log onto the AAA-Texas website, www.texas.aaa.com