New Years' weekend road safety tips - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

New Years' weekend road safety tips

source: WDAM source: WDAM
MISSISSIPPI (WDAM) -

If you’re thinking about heading out to bring in 2018, then you may want to take a little extra precaution when hitting the highways.

Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP) spokesperson Trooper Chase Elkins says, “there’s so much traffic here on 49 and this is one of our busiest highways traveled in the state but this is the traffic we're seeing statewide.”

The MHP is pushing their safety initiative, "Make it Home for the Holidays". Elkins says they want to do just that - make sure everyone makes it home for the holidays.

“It’s so much more than just enforcement this year,” says Elkins, “we're looking forward to help the people maybe stranded motorist or someone that just needs some type of assistance.”

Elkins says that they will be available to anyone who needs assistance on the roads.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), they predict nearly 356 people may be killed and over 40-thousand could be seriously injured traveling during New Year’s weekend. In the past, alcohol made up approximately one-third of fatalities.

If you do plan on drinking this holiday season, officials are saying it's best to always have a designated sober driver.

Other tips include making sure everyone has on a seat belt every time before taking off and making sure the cell phones stays put away, even if it's hands free.

The NSC also says it doesn't hurt to have an emergency kit on hand as well.

If anyone does decide to get behind the wheel intoxicated, MHP has a few words for you.

“We are out in full force and we're looking for those drivers that are impaired and our plans are to stop as many of them as we can to get them off the road so that people can make it home for the holidays,” says Elkins.

Trooper Chase Elkins says that if you’re in need this weekend whether it be car trouble or an accident, you can dial *HP (*47) for the nearest dispatch to come to your aid.

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