Missouri’s Operation CARE designed to protect travelers over holiday

Taking a road trip to a relative's home that lives outside of Jackson County for the Thanksgiving holiday can be exciting, especially with the thought of a home-cooked meal and time with family looming overhead. However, many Americans have this same idea the day preceding Thanksgiving. In 2009, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration estimated that approximately 91 percent of Americans would travel by car to reach their destination for this holiday.

Decreasing traffic crashes and fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday

With so many travelers out on the road, specifically the night before Thanksgiving, or 'Black Wednesday,' the number of vehicle accidents and fatalities increases substantially. According to the insurance provider Progressive, between the hours of 8 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving and up until 3 a.m. the morning of, rear-end accidents rise approximately 24 percent, property damage claims rise by 14 percent and collision claims go up by 17 percent.

In order to combat the number of crashes and fatalities on the busiest travel day of the year, the Missouri Highway State Patrol Office launched a program to keep these high numbers at bay. Known as Operation CARE, or Combined Accident Reduction Accident, drivers that travelled over the holiday weekend likely saw an abundance of highway patrol cars out on the prowl for unsafe drivers and to assist motorists as needed.

According to OzarksFirst.com, six people were killed in traffic accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend, in 2012, 434 people were injured and 1,208 accidents occurred. In order to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday this year, as a result of Operation CARE all available officers will be placed at twenty mile intervals along several of the state's highly travelled interstates.

Travel tips for drivers

Although efforts like Missouri's Operation CARE are designed to protect travelers during the Thanksgiving weekend, they cannot fully control the actions of other hazardous drivers out on the roads. To stay safe over busy holiday travelling times, drivers should:

  • Pay extra attention to the road around them.
  • Use any passengers as a way to spot unsafe drivers travelling near the vehicle.
  • Keep more distance than usual between their vehicle and the car ahead of them, especially during winter driving conditions.
  • Find a designated driver if alcohol was consumed during the evening.
  • Call a professional driving service if it unsafe to drive.

Unfortunately, while extra caution during busy holidays may help drivers avoid an accident, others are not so lucky. If you were injured in a car accident over your holiday travels, contact an attorney in your area that can help you obtain proper compensation for your injuries.