Texas DPS offers tips for safe travels this Thanksgiving

The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding all drivers to practice safe driving habits and exercise extra caution while traveling on Texas roadways this Thanksgiving.

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, Texas Highway Patrol Troopers will increase enforcement and be on the lookout for drivers failing to wear seat belts, violating the Move Over, Slow Down law, speeding and driving while intoxicated, among other traffic violations.

Last year, DPS Troopers issued more than 74,000 traffic citations and warnings, including 956 seat belt and child safety restraint citations during the Thanksgiving holiday. DPS enforcement efforts also resulted in 337 DWI arrests, 244 fugitive arrests, and 213 felony arrests.

DPS offers the following tips to help Texans arrive safely for the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • Do not drink and drive. Make alternate travel plans if you are consuming alcohol. 
  • If you can Steer It, Clear It: If you are involved in a non-injury crash and your vehicle can be moved, clear the traffic lanes to minimize the impact on traffic. 
  • Move Over or Slow Down for police, fire, EMS, Texas Department of Transportation vehicles and tow trucks stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated.
  • Slow down — especially in bad weather, construction areas, heavy traffic, and unfamiliar areas. 
  • Eliminate distractions while driving, including the use of mobile devices. Texas law prohibits using a portable wireless device to read, write or send an electronic message unless the vehicle is stopped. 
  • Buckle up everyone in the vehicle — it’s the law. 
  • Drive defensively, as holiday travel may present additional challenges. 
  • Don’t drive fatigued — allow plenty of time to reach your destination. 
  • If you see a road hazard or if you observe anything suspicious, report it to the nearest law enforcement agency. 
  • On multi-lane roadways, use the left lane for passing only. Texas law requires slower traffic to keep to the right and to only use the left lane for passing when posted.
  • Check that your vehicle is properly maintained before making your trip and always double-check to make sure all cargo is secure. 
  • Monitor weather and road conditions wherever you are traveling.