by Sarah Thomack/St. Joseph Post Staff
More than 55 million travelers are making plans to take a trip this Thanksgiving and will fly or drive to get there, according to AAA.
St. Joseph Police Chief Chris Connally encourages those driving to visit family and friends this week to prepare your vehicle for winter weather and plan ahead for a safe trip.
“Plan your route ahead of time and it’s good to share it with a third party, make sure somebody knows the route you’re planning because if you don’t show up, and (there’s) concern that something happened to you that somebody has a way to track or if they’re filing a missing persons report, provides law enforcement an area to look at and try to check on the well being.”
Connally also encourages drivers to plan breaks on a long trip.
“Sometimes we get in a hurry and we’re like, ‘Yeah, I just want to go go go,’ so you may (get) fast food and keep driving while you’re eating or something,” Connally says. “Well, if you’re taking a long trip, that break actually does you a lot of good - getting out of the car, getting some fresh air, stretching your legs, taking a little break from the focus that it takes on the road - maybe planning a decent lunch isn’t a bad thing.”
Drivers are also encouraged to check weather and road conditions on their route before traveling.
“Last winter, a couple times, due to winter weather, they closed part of the interstate,” Connally says. “If the interstate is closed, trying to come up with a shortcut through the rural areas is probably not a good idea either because those side roads are probably as bad or worse.”
Connally also reminds drivers to avoid distractions, drive defensively and to not drive impaired.