Officials urge Thanksgiving travelers to take it easy

    With Thanksgiving the most dangerous holiday for travelers, Pennsylvania transportation officials are partnering with police to encourage safe driving.

    PennDOT officials say motorists should expect heightened enforcement of seatbelt laws and be aware law enforcement will be on the lookout aggressive and impaired driving. In addition to regular traffic safety patrols, sobriety checkpoints will be in operation.

    PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters advises drivers who find themselves in bad weather and heavy traffic to stay cool.

    “If you’re on the road and either the weather is inclement or maybe you’re stuck in traffic, try to keep calm,” she said. “A lot of people are on the road with you. Always increase your following distance, if you’re on slushy or snowy roads, or even if there’s rain … give yourself time to react.”

    About 4,000 traffic accidents occurred in Pennsylvania during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday travel period. That’s more than twice as many crashes recorded during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday weeks combined.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.