The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 26, 2010

Ask a trooper: Thanksgiving and crashes?

— Q: Why do they say that Thanksgiving weekend is the worst time for crashes? Is this true?

Yes and no. Summer is when we have the most crashes but the Thanksgiving - 4 Day weekend can be one of the most deadly. This may be because the data is collected for an additional 24 hours compared with most holiday periods.

Also, it is the first time we have a big travel event during winter and often we’re not “ready” for the severe winter weather if it hits. We need to focus on our skills earlier.

All this with the general rush of the long holiday weekend can be a recipe for disaster if we don’t take pause.

The Minnesota State Patrol reminds motorists to use their good defensive driving and winter driving skills this weekend.

Motorists should remember to:

Check road conditions – Go to , or call 511. This will give you

very specific information about the weather and the route you are taking.

Be patient – Remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for

your trip.

Stay back - Stay far back from the snow cloud; Snowplow operators will pull over

when it is safe to do so to allow traffic build-up to pass.

Stay alert – People turn or exit frequently, often with little warning. Put the

electronics down and only focus on driving. Don’t exhaust yourself, fatigued and

distracted driving account for over 1/3 of all fatalities.


Call ahead- to warn about late start- hand your cell phone to a passenger and have them call “Grandma” to tell her you will arrive late. Let someone know the route you intend to use just in case we need to go looking for you.

DO NOT try and make up time. EVERYONE is out and about, because of the

congestion, NO ONE will make up time. Do not schedule more than you should actually do in one day.

If your trip is long, arrange rest breaks-bathroom, treats, coffee stops to keep the

driver fresh with a chance to move around outside of the car.

Happy Holidays

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