INDIANAPOLIS, IN —Agencies like the Indiana State Police and AAA Hoosier Motor Club are asking drivers to be careful when hitting the roads this Christmas weekend.
AAA spokesperson Greg Seiter says the agency is already seeing the highest travel volume on record for year-end holiday periods. More than 107 million Americans are expected to travel fifty miles or more for the holiday.
“We’re looking at year end travel that has steadily increased for the last 9 consecutive years, so this is a reflection of what we’ve been seeing in the market place,” Seiter said.
Seiter Recommends drivers allow themselves plenty of extra time to arrive at the destinations, particularly on Saturday which is anticipated to be the busiest travel day.
“No matter where you go, no matter how you get there, it’s going to be crazy,” he said.
The combination of traffic volume and winter weather is also motivating the Indiana State Police to issue weekend travel warnings. Sgt.Trent Smith says more than anything, the agency is advising drivers to watch their speed and follow distance while on the roads.
“We’ve already had some tragic events in the last week that if people just would have slowed down and taken their time, but unnecessary speed caused accidents,” he said.
ISP will be adding extra patrols to the interstates throughout the rest of the holiday season. The agency will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E., or Combined Accident Reduction Effort, from December 21st through January 3rd. Smith says they will focus their additional patrols in areas known to produce speeders and accidents.
“We’re just asking people to take their time,” he said.
The agency also recommends following these tips when hitting the roads:
- When planning to travel, make sure you are well rested, as a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver.
- Increase your following distance; remember the two-second rule.
- Watch for slowed or stopped traffic when approaching construction zones
- Leave a car length between you and the vehicle in front of you in stopped traffic. Watch approaching traffic in your mirror and be prepared to take evasive action.
- Decrease your speed according to traffic and road conditions
- Beware of bridges, overpasses and intersections where ice tends to form first during cold inclement weather.
- Don’t use cruise control on slick roads.
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained, including making sure Child Safety Seats are properly anchored and that children stay securely fastened in them.
- DON’T BE DISTRACTED-Pull over and stop to use electronic devices.
- DON’T DRIVE IMPAIRED-Have a designated driver.
- MOVE OVER and SLOW DOWN for emergency and highway service vehicles.