HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Thanks giving Holiday traffic officially begins Wednesday the 26th at 6 pm and will continue conclude Sunday the 30th at midnight. The highway patrol wants drivers to avoid all "distracted" driving, including unnecessary use of cell phones, eating or drinking, and anything else that may divert attention from the road. Seatbelts are proven to save lives in the event of an accident, and they are required to be worn in the state of Mississippi.
Brent Barfield of the State Highway patrol says, "I've said this in the past, it's a combination. It's kind of like a combination lock you know the speed limits are put in place for all of our safety, seat belts are in our vehicles for all of our safety so if you use the right speed limit with all the tools that are available to you such as seat belts and hands free kits, things like that, your travels should be safe."
A great to tip for those traveling long distances is making sure you have an appropriate amount of sleep. It is very easy to fall asleep while driving, especially if you are traveling late at night or early in the morning. Stop every 100 miles for a water or coffee break or just get out your car to take a short walk.
Holiday festivities are a great way to unwind with friends and family, but remember it illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
"We're going to have a lot of get-togethers, office parties, things like that we just ask everybody to don't drink and drive," says Jon Traxler of HPD. "If you're going to be somewhere where there's drinking, make sure you have a designated driver, if you don't have a designated driver, call a cab, call a friend, call somebody to come and get you, don't drink and drive."
Happy travels and Happy Thanksgiving!