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Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages courteous, attentive holiday driving

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Col. Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, reminds everyone there will be an increase in traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Drivers should remain alert to changes along their normal route. Regardless of traffic patterns, safety should remain a priority.

The counting period for the 2021 Thanksgiving holiday weekend is from 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24 through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28. Troopers will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., enforcing all traffic laws, and available to assist the public. 

Over the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday counting period, 12 people were killed and 379 injured in 1,166 traffic crashes.

Drivers should make sure their vehicles are in good condition and that they are well rested before they start driving. Remember: There is never a reason to speed, drive aggressively, or drive impaired.

If temperatures are mild, boating or fishing might become part of Thanksgiving holiday weekend plans. If so, remember there is less daylight, which makes a vessel's navigation lights essential. Check the lights and have extra bulbs on board before heading out. 

This time of year, the water is becoming colder and hypothermia is a concern. The body loses heat 25 times faster in water than in the air of the same temperature. If you take an unexpected plunge in cold water, it's important to get out of the water and into dry clothes as soon as possible. Most boaters wear more clothing this time of year, so the proper wearing of life jackets and using caution to avoid falling overboard is even more important. Having a plan as to how you would exit the water if you inadvertently fell overboard is imperative, such as making sure your boat has an exterior swim ladder to allow you to re-enter the vessel.

The public is encouraged to call the Patrol's Emergency Report Line 800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone if they witness criminal activity or experience an emergency. These phone numbers are operational for both highway and water emergencies. 

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