Staying alert, driver safety stressed as holiday travel begins to increase

GEORGIA (WTOC) - Interstates like 16, 95, and other roadways in Georgia will get busier and busier the closer we get to the holiday weekend.

The traffic and the stress will pick up with each passing day. An AAA survey predicts three million cars on roads in Georgia.

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety urges motorists to stay sober, buckle up and put down the phone. They also urge people to leave early for their destination, share the driving with others and don't plan to pull an all-nighter behind the wheel.

"Don't try to drive a couple of extra hours to get to somebody's home or whatever. Make sure you're well rested. A drowsy driver is just as dangerous as a drunk driver," said Harris Blackwood, with the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

The Christmas and New Year's weekends will also end what has so far been a slightly less dangerous year on Georgia's roadways.

Leaders of Georgia's Governor's Office of Highway Safety say those numbers are down slightly from this same time last year -for the first time in three years.  They have their fingers crossed for the rest of the month.

The indications are we could end the year slightly lower than last year. That's moving the needle in the right direction and that's a good thing.

They say they've spread their message even harder this year for drivers to buckle up, slow down, put down the phone and stay sober. Regardless the reason, they're glad drivers seem to be heeding the message.

"The best Christmas gift you could give yourself is being alive for the New Year," Blackwood said.

They hope that trend can continue into 2018.

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