November 22, 2006
All the extra traffic out on the roads multiplies the potential for tragedy.
State police say Thanksgiving weekend is one of the most dangerous and deadliest holiday weekends of the year. That's why 75% percent of all troopers will be out in full force over the next four days.
“We have extra patrols on all the arteries and highways throughout the state of Virginia,” said Sgt. Glenn Phillips with the Virginia State Police.
They'll be making sure holiday drivers like Lee Defibaugh are obeying the rules of the road.
“We always have our seat belts on. And as we pulled in here we saw a car that looked like it had been in an accident. [It was in] pretty bad shape, [so it’s] kind of a reminder,” said Defibaugh.
It’s a reminder that 20 people lost their lives on Virginia’s highways over the Thanksgiving weekend last year. State police say they don't want a repeat of 2005 and will be stopping drivers not wearing seat belts, speeding, driving recklessly or driving under the influence. They say getting people to their destination safely is their main concern.
“Leave with plenty of time to get to where you need to go, slow down and maintain the speed limit and things will work out just fine,” said Phillips.
Difibaugh and his family hope things will work out just fine as they join the holiday rush along the highways, cautiously heading to his brother's home in South Carolina.
“It’s bad weather and probably the worst day of traveling in the year, but we are braving it and we are going to have fun and we have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving,” said Defibaugh.
Two important numbers to remember while on the road: #77 will get you state police and 511 will get you real time travel and traffic information.