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MDOT: Don't Text and Drive On Your Way to Thanksgiving Celebrations

texting and driving
Distracted driving, such as texting while behind the wheel, is now one of the primary causes of traffic accidents.

The Thanksgiving weekend should be a relaxing time spent with family and friends, but distracted drivers – especially those who text while they drive – may never get there alive.
With that in mind, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) has provided some travel tips to help Mississippians enjoy a safe and healthy Thanksgiving this year.
The Thanksgiving holiday travel period – Wednesday, November 22, through Sunday, November 26 – is one of the busiest travel times of the year. The American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates roughly 45.5 million Americans will hit the road this year.
“As cell phones get smarter, distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the primary causes of traffic crashes across the nation,” said Melinda McGrath, MDOT’s executive director. “With the increased amount of traffic that will be on Mississippi highways this week, MDOT urges all motorists to avoid driving distracted. No text or phone call is worth the danger of losing a life.”
Research shows sending or receiving text messages takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55 miles per hour – of traveling the length of a football field blind. Drivers who use a hand-held device are four times more likely to get into a serious crash.
But avoiding distractions is not enough for travelers to stay safe. MDOT also offers these tips to help Mississippi motorists reach their Thanksgiving destinations safely.
1. Buckle up! Seat belt use is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries from a possible crash.
2. Get plenty of rest before driving to Grandma’s house. Remember to plan frequent stops if traveling long distances.
3. Always use caution in work zones. Road workers also want to make it home safely to their families for the holidays.
4. Watch out for wildlife. Cooler temperatures mean deer and other wildlife are more active on the sides of Mississippi highways. Use extra caution if traveling during the times of dusk and dawn.
5. Do not drive impaired. If you do plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver.
6. Plan ahead! MDOT offers free travel resources to help motorists reach their destination safely.
“Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for the traveling public,” McGrath said. “Motorists should plan and prepare for an influx of travelers on Mississippi roadways. All drivers should take extra precautions to ensure they, and others, arrive safely to their holiday destinations.”
For more tips on traveling safely this holiday season, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.


Special to HottyToddy.com.

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