(Jefferson City)–As thousands of Missouri drivers hit the roads to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends this week, the Missouri Department of Transportation is urging them to exercise patience, caution and good judgment behind the wheel. This holiday week brings a trifecta of concerns to the roadway, including impaired driving, distracted driving and heavy interstate congestion. The night before Thanksgiving, sometimes referred to as Blackout Wednesday, has become a popular night for get-togethers at bars, often resulting in heavy drinking. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday period, making it one of the deadliest holidays on our roadways.

In addition to Thanksgiving celebrations, Black Friday brings another hazard to Missouri roadways. On a day notoriously associated with impatient shoppers, MoDOT urges drivers to keep the online shopping out of the driver’s seat.

Distracted and impaired driving aren’t the only concerns for drivers next week. AAA estimates nearly 50 million people will be on the nation’s roadways, with congestion peaking Wednesday afternoon. This is the highest anticipated Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005. Trips could take as much as four times longer, and travelers should expect delays throughout the week.

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI