Traffic safety and law enforcement officials aim for zero preventable deaths on Wisconsin roads through the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
Fewer hours of daylight, unpredictable deer crossings, and changing weather conditions can create driving challenges this time of year. Sgt. Dave Harvey with the State Patrol says drivers need to pay attention, slow down, buckle up, drive sober, and maintain a safe following distance.
“When roads get congested, when traffic increases, a lot of times that’s one of the things that may suffer,” he says. “People give up that normal following distance that they have and that’s problematic when there are problems as far as traffic slowdowns or traffic even coming to a stop.”
Too many fatalities on Wisconsin roadways do not have to happen. Harvey says it’s OK to enjoy an adult beverage over the holidays, but do not drink and drive. “Alcohol is a factor in about 50 percent of fatal crashes, and that’s something that’s really under people’s control.” Harvey says, “Planning ahead and just making sure people do have safe drivers behind the wheel is an easy way to address something like that and hopefully drive those numbers down.”
Last year, 11 people died in Wisconsin traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend from Wednesday evening through midnight the following Sunday.
Before your trip, Department of Transportation officials suggest drivers check the 511 Travel Information System for the latest on road conditions and possible delays.