Slow down. Georgia state troopers will be out in full force for Thanksgiving

The Georgia State Patrol and the Motor Carrier Compliance Division will be out in full force during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

The 102-hour holiday travel period begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28.

“Troopers and Motor Carrier Officers will be patrolling interstates and secondary roads throughout the state to reduce traffic crashes, and deter unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, following too closely, and driving while impaired. Our primary focus is to make the roadways safer this holiday period for our residents and guests,” said Colonel Chris C. Wright, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

During the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 659 crashes, resulting in 370 injuries. Statewide, there were 23 fatal crashes, resulting in 24 deaths. Of those crashes, GSP investigated 16 fatal crashes resulting in 17 fatalities. 

In addition to crash investigations, Troopers and Officers arrested more than 290 people for driving under the influence, while issuing over 11,400 citations and nearly 13,400 warnings.

“Motorists should make sure their vehicle is ready for the road, travel with patience, allow plenty of time to reach their destinations, obey the posted speed limit, ensure every occupant is properly restrained in their vehicle, and never drive distracted or impaired,” added Colonel Wright.

Here are some travel tips to keep in mind this holiday weekend:

  • Obey the posted speed limit. When you exceed the speed limit, you reduce the amount of available time needed to avoid a traffic crash.
  • Do not drive impaired (this includes alcohol and/or drugs/medication). Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, rideshare service, friend, or family member to help you get home safely.
  • Do not follow too closely behind the vehicle in front of you. Allow sufficient space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you, usually a car length apart, so that you have plenty of time to stop your vehicle when traffic stops suddenly.
  • Buckle Up. Make sure everyone in the vehicle wears a seatbelt and that children are properly restrained in the appropriate child safety seats.  Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat.
  • Pay attention to the road. Limit your distractions.  Never use electronic devices to text or surf the web while driving.  The Hands-Free Georgia Act prohibits all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
  • Plan your trip. Minimize the number of stops towards your destination, pack meals, extra snacks and drinks, as well as an emergency roadside kit.  
  • Do not leave children and pets in hot cars. Regularly check the back seat and back floor area for children and animals, each time you exit your vehicle.
  • Stay alert of your surroundings and show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads.

According to INRIX, in collaboration with AAA, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips and this year will be no different even during the pandemic. Drivers around major metro areas must be prepared for significant delays, especially Wednesday afternoon. Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. 

Daily Worst and Best Times to Travel
DayWorst TimeBest Time
Wednesday12:00 – 8:00PMAfter 9:00PM
Thursday12:00 – 3:00PMBefore 11:00AM
Friday1:00 – 4:00PMBefore 11:00AM
Saturday2:00 – 7:00PMBefore 12:00PM
Sunday1:00 – 7:00PMBefore 12:00PM

Source: INRIX

 During the holiday period, an updated traffic fatality count will be published on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/ga_dps.