An estimated 42 million motorists will be on the roads on Thursday, during what is considered one of the busiest and most dangerous times of the year.
In 2014, over the Thanksgiving weekend, 45 people died in collisions on California roadways – a 36 percent increase from the same period in 2013.
In addition, the California Highway Patrol arrested almost 1,000 people for driving under the influence.
CHP Newhall will be patrolling in full force over Thanksgiving as part of a maximum enforcement period across the state to prevent tragedies for California motorists.
CHP Newhall officers will patrol all of the Santa Clarita Valley and several unincorporated Los Angeles County areas, such as Stevenson Ranch.
The maximum enforcement period will begin Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. and continue through Sunday, Nov. 29, at 11:59 p.m. However, the best way to prevent a crash is to drive safely.
The CHP has offered some advice for motorists trying to stay safe during Thanksgiving:
- Keep your eyes on the road.
- You may be driving safely, but others may not be. Even a second or two could result in a collision.
- Stay off your phone.
- The cell phone is one of the easiest things to glance at quickly on your drive, but it is also one of the easiest to keep looking at. If you have to do something or look something up, have a passenger do it for you.
- Do not drive under the influence.
- The law is explicit: Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more is illegal, but even with a lower blood alcohol content a driver may be a hazard to themselves and other motorists. If you drive under the influence, the best case scenario is that you are jailed for the offense. The worst case could result in a loss of life.
- Prepare for potential inclement weather by leaving early, allowing plenty of time to get your destination.
- If you’re heading to mountain country or anywhere you may encounter snow, bring gear such as chains, a chain tightener tool and warm waterproof clothing.
- Check your emergency supplies before you go to make sure they are in order.
- Some items to have are flares (check to make sure they aren’t expired), flashlight and strong batteries, a small shovel, a windshield scraper, blankets, drinking water and snacks.
You can also check in advance for road conditions by calling: 1-800-427-7623 or clicking here.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges “Buckle Up America – Every Trip. Every Time.”
Nationwide, more than half the drivers and passengers killed in crashes are not wearing seat belts. The NHTSA estimates that nationally, seat belts saved the lives of 12,854 passenger vehicle occupants in 2013.
“Having a safe Thanksgiving drive this year—and being here to enjoy next Thanksgiving—can be as simple as buckling up,” CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said.
The California Highway Patrol, Southern Division would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.