There's no place like home for the holidays. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds motorists to include safe, crash free travel as part of their holiday plans. Check your vehicle before you travel to ensure that it is in good working condition. Make sure you are well rested before driving to your destination, no matter how short the distance. Keep an eye on the weather, too. Above all, please, please obey all traffic laws, be a courteous driver, and drive sober.

Last year, there were 885 traffic crashes during the Christmas counting period. In those crashes, five people were killed and another 314 were injured. During the 2016 Christmas holiday, one person was killed or injured every 14.6 minutes.

The 2017 Christmas holiday counting period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 22, 2017, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, December 25, 2017.

Remember: Holiday drivers will affect traffic patterns. Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly. The Road Condition Report number is 1-888-275-6636. Allow extra time to reach your destination, and obey all traffic laws.

If faced with a traffic emergency, motorists can contact the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cellular phone. This emergency number will ring into the nearest Highway Patrol headquarters. Motorists should use this number if they are in a traffic crash, witness a crash or crime, or observe a stranded motorist in need of assistance, or other traffic emergencies.

“Don’t let the excitement of the season distract you from being a safe, courteous driver,” said Colonel Sandra K. Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Be a courteous driver and be an attentive driver this holiday. If you include alcohol in your celebrations, designate a sober driver. On behalf of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, I want to wish everyone a safe, merry Christmas!”

The only 100 percent survivable traffic crash is the one that never happens. Make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained in a seat belt or child restraint. Every day as we travel on Missouri's roadways, we trust that every driver on the road is going to obey the speed limit, pay attention, and drive sober. "Don't Violate The Trust."

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