Heading to grandma’s house this Thanksgiving? Results of a reader survey from Texas Highways – the state’s official travel magazine – show 48 percent of Texans said, “yes.” Among those, 92 percent said they will be traveling by car on Texas roadways, which is why the Texas Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers to obey all traffic laws when driving.

“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.”

In 2011, there were 848 serious injuries and 26 deaths from traffic crashes that occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday reporting period. In an effort to reduce the number of traffic fatalities this year, TxDOT is asking drivers to follow a few 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 cause problems for drivers. Motorists can reduce their risk by knowing some winter weather driving tips and practicing a few road safety habits, such as planning ahead, and being aware of alerts and advisories in your area. Winter road preparedness includes the following:

  • 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™ (www.DriveTexas.org).

DriveTexas™ is mobile friendly and a great tool that offers real-time road conditions, traffic and weather feeds. Travelers can also call TxDOT’s highway conditions line at (800) 452-9292 for routing and trip-planning information.

And if grandma’s not sure she wants to host the family dinner this year, TxDOT encourages travelers to pick up the latest edition of Texas Highways magazine where you can always find your next destination. Visit www.texashighways.com for more information.

For more information, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.

Texas Department of Transportation

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at www.txdot.gov. Fan us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/txdot; and follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/txdot.