November and December can bring extreme changes in weather conditions throughout Missouri. At the same time, the holiday season kicks off, sending many people onto the roads for after hours events with colleagues, or gatherings among friends or family.

State officials say that almost 300 traffic accidents were reported over the Thanksgiving holiday. Eight people lost their lives, while 140 more suffered some level of personal injury. The reporting period for the Thanksgiving holiday ran from 6:00 in the evening on the day before Thanksgiving through Sunday, December 1.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says that five of the fatalities were reported in the Troop F area, which is based in Jefferson City. In addition, the highway patrol says that three of the five motor-vehicle accidents involving fatalities statewide were head-on crashes. One accident victim died in a head-on motorcycle accident, which was reported Friday in Wright County.

As we move through December, many people may have plans to head out onto the roads to attend more gatherings. While complete details about each of the 299 motor vehicle accidents over the Thanksgiving break have not necessarily been developed, it is clear that many families were affected. Traffic safety is important at any time of the year. But, with holiday gatherings scattered over the coming weeks through the New Years’ celebration, it is important for motorists to be aware of the potential increased dangers on the road.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, state officials say that highway patrol troopers arrested 139 people for driving while impaired–a number that is about even with the Thanksgiving break last year.

Source: Macon Chronicle-Herald, “Eight Fatalities Over 2013 Thanksgiving Holiday,” Dec. 3, 2013