The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds motorists to include safe, crash free travel as part of their holiday plans.
Last year, there were 885 traffic crashes during the Christmas counting period. In those crashes, five people were killed and another 314 were injured. During the 2016 Christmas holiday, one person was killed or injured every 14.6 minutes.
The 2017 Christmas holiday counting period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25.
The patrol offers these driving safety tips:
• Check your vehicle before you travel to ensure that it is in good working condition.
• Make sure you are well rested before driving to your destination, no matter how short the distance.
• Keep an eye on the weather, too.
• Obey all traffic laws, be a courteous driver and drive sober.
• Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. The Road Condition Report number is 888-275-6636.
• Allow extra time to reach your destination, and obey all traffic laws.
If faced with a traffic emergency, motorists can contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. This emergency number will ring into the nearest patrol headquarters. Motorists should use this number if they are in a traffic crash, witness a crash or crime or observe a stranded motorist in need of assistance, or other traffic emergencies.
“Don’t let the excitement of the season distract you from being a safe, courteous driver,” said MSHP superintendent Col. Sandra K. Karsten. “Be a courteous driver and be an attentive driver this holiday. If you include alcohol in your celebrations, designate a sober driver.”