Gainesville Daily Register

November 16, 2012

TxDOT offers holiday driving safety tips

Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register

Gainesville — Results of an online reader survey in “Texas Highways” — the state's official travel magazine — show 48 percent of Texans intend to travel during the holidays.

Among those, 92 percent said they will be traveling by car or truck on Texas roadways, which is why representatives of Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) would like to remind drivers to obey all traffic laws when driving.

“Historically, the busiest travel days are the day before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving,” said John Barton, TxDOT deputy executive director. “Thanksgiving is a time to be spent with family and friends, so we want to make sure Texans get to where they need to be safely.”

The Thanksgiving holidays are often extremely dangerous times for driving.

During 2011, there were 848 serious injuries and 26 deaths from traffic crashes that occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday reporting period.

In an effort to reduce the number of traffic fatalities this year, TxDOT is asking drivers to follow a few simple rules of the road:

• Pay attention.

• Buckle seatbelts.

• Put phone away.

• Use the left lane for passing only.

• Never drink and drive.

• Obey all traffic laws.

Hazardous weather can also cause problems for drivers.

Motorists can reduce their risk by knowing some winter weather driving tips and practicing a few road safety habits, such as planning ahead, and being aware of alerts and advisories in your area.

Winter road preparedness includes the following:

• Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained.

• Stay tuned to local news, road closures, changing conditions and weather alerts.

Check online highway conditions information at for real-time road conditions, traffic and weather feeds. Travelers can also call TxDOT's highway conditions line at (800) 452-9292 for routing and trip-planning information.