Highway safety tips for holiday travelers

By WEEK Reporter

December 20, 2013 Updated Dec 20, 2013 at 8:42 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- This weekend is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. In Illinois AAA estimates 4.9 million people will travel, 90% of those will go by car. While the weather is sometimes unpredictable there are some simple things you can do to stay safe on the highway.

Highway collisions are not unfamiliar to veteran state trooper Dustin Pierce. He's seen hundreds of highway crashes--two of them fatal. He says the worst part is most of the mishaps were easily preventable.

"They could have been avoided by one not getting on the roadway in these kinds of conditions, but really by slowing down," said Pierce. "Some of the areas you need to be particularly careful at are bridges, over passes, anywhere where the air can get underneath are going to freeze first. Also any shaded areas such as ramps."

The Illinois Department of Transportation will be pre-treating those areas. Even so, police say staying in your lane, allowing extra time for travel and having a charged phone with you are things you can do that go a long way.

Illinois State Police are assigning more troopers to be on the roads this weekend to make sure that drivers stay safe.

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