The Thanksgiving holiday is typically one of the busiest times of the year for travel. In 2018, approximately 54 million people in the United States, including Iowa, traveled at least 50 miles over the four-day period. Estimates for this year are even greater.
State law enforcement officials in Iowa, as well as Illinois, want to promote safe travels for all during the holiday. The agencies have issued reminders to drivers to obey the speed limit, avoid distractions, use seatbelts and refrain from drinking and driving. Additionally, each agency will have an increased presence on the highways of its respective state to enforce the traffic laws.
Not only will there be more patrols on the highways, but authorities will also be more visible than usual to motorists on heavily traveled state routes and interstate highways. Law enforcement will be looking specifically for violations of the so-called Fatal Four: DUI, distracted driving, seat belts and speeding. Enforcement of these regulations may be stricter than usual.
This year, weather conditions may make travel by automobile in Iowa more dangerous than usual. Meteorologists expect a winter storm to hit parts of northern and central Iowa in the days just before the holiday when travel is likely to take place. Urbandale could see rain, snow showers and a wintry mix before the holiday period is over.
Winter weather conditions can make driving even more difficult, especially if impairment by alcohol is present or speeds exceed that which is appropriate for the conditions. Authorities cite these as major causes of fatal crashes.
Even a conscientious driver may have a lapse in judgment on occasion. Those who run afoul of increased law enforcement during the holidays may wish to consult an attorney.