Thanksgiving Traffic Safety

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This year, Kentucky has recorded nearly 800 highway fatalities, but this number could go up as the Thanksgiving holiday season is almost upon us.

"Everyone travels that weekend of the year. That Thursday through Sunday is a weekend that everybody travels . They go to relatives' homes they travel state-to-state and take long trips," said Kentucky State Police Sgt. John Clark.

With everyone heading out, all the roadways in Kentucky are more congested than any other holiday we celebrate.

Clark attributes most of the turkey-season collisions with aggressive driving because of the additional vehicles on the road.

"We see an increase in aggressive driving during the holiday season, mainly because there are so many vehicles that are on the road," Clark said.

During the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period in 2005, there were over 1000 motor vehicle crashes on Kentucky roads and 12 people died in these crashes.

In order to help reduce collisions such as these this holiday season, Kentucky State Police will once again team up with the Bowling Green Police Department and the Sheriff's Department to monitor drivers as part of operation combined accident reduction efforts or CARE.

There will be checkpoints set up throughout the county starting the night of Nov. 22, 2006, and running through Nov. 26, 2006.

"The troopers that are out there will be looking for speeding violations. They will be especially conscious of those driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving in a generally reckless manner," Clark said.

The Kentucky State Police offer these tips in order to stay safe during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.

First, obey the speed limits.

KSP said excessive speed affects your ability to slow down in enough time to avoid hitting a vehicle in front of you.

Next, get enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation and fatigue can cause lapses in judgment and slowed awareness.

Third, avoid or minimize in-car distractions such as cell phone use, changing tapes or CD's, eating or anything else that diverts your attention from the road.