Safety tips for Thanksgiving travel

Maintain a safe system, address congestion, connect Texas communities, and be a Best-In-Class state agency, these are the four goals of Texas Department of Transportation, and with Thanksgiving around the corner a lot of Texans will be using state roads to head to Grandma's for the holiday.

The Texas Highways website says there will 48 percent of Texans traveling, of that percentage 92 percent said they will be traveling by car on Texas roads.

That is why TxDOT is wanting to remind people to obey all traffic laws when traveling this season.

"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."

According to TxDOT, 848 serious injuries and 26 deaths from traffic crashes occurred during the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday reporting period.

In an attempt to reduce the number of fatalities on Texas roads this year, TxDot is asking motorists to follow a some simple rules of the road:

· Pay attention.

· Buckle seatbelts.

· Put phone away.

· Left lane for passing only.

· Never drink and drive.

· Obey all traffic laws.

Hazardous weather can also become a problem for drivers.

Motorists can reduce the risk by knowing some weather driving tips:

Also practicing a few road safety habits, such as planning ahead, and being aware of alerts and advisories in the area.

Some tips to be prepared for the winter roads:

· Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained.

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

· Check online highway conditions information at DriveTexas.

Another tool that can be used is the mobile that offers real-time road conditions, traffic, and weather feeds.

If all else fails TxDOT has a highway condtions line: (800) 452-9292 for routing and trip-planning information.