Rising Holiday Travel Raises Road Safety Concerns | Missouri News

MISSOURI – After a busy Thanksgiving weekend, many people tied themselves up, started their cars and started driving home on Sunday morning.

“I left around 8 am this morning from Kansas City to Huntsville, Alabama.” said traveler Zach Hickman.

With a lot of drivers back home, that means the trip could take longer than usual.

“With so much commuting as I do, it’s hard to avoid all the traffic,” Hickman said.

Some people had a plan for their car trip. David Siodlarz left at 6:30 a.m. Monday to begin his journey from Bedford, Iowa to Nashville, Tennessee.

“I don’t like driving at night and with the traffic I know the traffic isn’t bad here now, but I leave early and get home around four,” Siodlarz said.

Others decided to leave as soon as they were ready and hope to avoid any further traffic.

“We had no game plan, we were just trying to get home in time for the afternoon soccer game, traffic will be inevitable no matter what time you go,” said Todd Newton.

Plan or not, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has said increased traffic and congestion on the road make it one of the most dangerous weekends to drive.

“These are the same things we usually have on vacations, where people just go too fast,” said Corporal Kyle Green, Missouri State Highway Patrol Information Officer. “And there is a lot of traffic. So make sure you know, you are slowing down, make sure you don’t follow too closely.”

Stop and go traffic is the cause of many of the road crashes that people experience. Green said most of the time when people get into a crash, they’re on their phones and trying to record the crash. He said if the road is blocked, it is better to avoid the accident as much as possible.

“Pulling back on the shoulder would be the best option to allow emergency vehicles to reach the victims of this accident,” Green said.

Hickman said he tries to get as far away from his phone as possible to avoid any collisions or issues. It also relies on a little caffeine.

“Lots of coffee and lots of breaks,” Hickman said. “It’s also nice to have another person who I can disconnect with if I need to.”

Newton said he protects his family by keeping his children busy with headphones so they aren’t a distraction, and also by obeying the rules of the road.

“That way we don’t have to worry about them, we can just focus on the road,” Newton said.

Green said he expects traffic to be busiest from 2 p.m. to around 10 p.m. on Sunday.


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Joseph D. Whitman