Montgomery, AL – As Thanksgiving approaches, Alabama roadways are gearing up for one of the busiest weeks of the year. With AAA predicting over 49 million Americans hitting the road during the holiday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is urging motorists to be mindful of safety. This year, ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor emphasizes the importance of individual commitment to responsible actions, encapsulated in the acronym TURKEY.
The Thanksgiving travel period, spanning from 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 22, to midnight on Sunday, Nov. 26, will see heightened enforcement efforts by ALEA’s Highway Patrol Division. Troopers will be conducting additional details to ensure the safety of Alabama roadways, aiming to prevent traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities.
Colonel Jonathan Archer, Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety, underscores the gravity of the situation, stating, “Notifying the loved ones of those killed in traffic crashes is truly one of the most dreaded responsibilities our Troopers have.” Archer urges travelers to prioritize traffic safety and reminds them that their commitment to safe driving is the best gift they can give their families this holiday season.
According to data from the Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) in Alabama, the previous extended Thanksgiving travel periods (2018-2022) saw 65 lives lost. While there has been an overall decline in traffic-related injuries and deaths since 2019, ALEA emphasizes the need for everyone’s cooperation to maintain this positive trend.
To ensure a safe Thanksgiving journey, ALEA Troopers offer the following traffic safety tips encapsulated in the TURKEY acronym:
T – Take breaks and rotate drivers: Combat fatigue during long trips by taking breaks, stretching your legs, and ensuring you are alert before getting back behind the wheel.
U – Use seatbelts and proper child restraints: Alabama law requires all passengers to be buckled up, regardless of age or seating position. Buckle up for every trip, no matter how short.
R – Remember Alabama’s Move Over Law: When approaching emergency or tow vehicles, either change lanes or slow down by at least 15 mph below the posted speed limit.
K – Keep the left lane for passing only: Follow courteous driving practices, keep to the right, and use the left lane for passing when necessary.
E – Eliminate distractions while driving: Avoid distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting devices. Alabama law prohibits texting while driving.
Y – You are the best gift you can give your family: Practice safe driving habits, never drink and drive, and make alternate plans if consuming alcohol.
As families prepare to gather for Thanksgiving, ALEA emphasizes that these simple but crucial steps can make a significant impact on road safety during this busy holiday season. By adhering to the TURKEY acronym, individuals can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable Thanksgiving for all.