JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) are encouraging Mississippians to drive safely this Thanksgiving.

This year, AAA estimates that 49 million people will be traveling by car for Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving travel is expected to increase this year, meaning there will be more motorists on the road with you. Motorists should watch their speeds and obey all traffic laws to ensure they make it safely to their holiday destinations,” said MDOT Executive Director Brad White.

MDOT leaders said safety should be a top priority for Thanksgiving travel. They offered the following tips to promote safe travel this Thanksgiving:

  • Plan ahead. The MDOT Traffic mobile app shows real-time road conditions along travel routes.
  • Get plenty of rest before driving. Remember to plan frequent stops if traveling long distances.
  • Buckle up. Seat belt use is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries from a possible crash.
  • Always use caution in work zones. Maintenance workers also want to make it home safely to their families for the holidays.
  • Watch out for wildlife. Cooler temperatures mean deer and other wildlife are more active near highways. Use extra caution if traveling during dusk and dawn.
  • Don’t drive impaired. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a designated driver.

To keep traffic moving, MDOT will also be limiting lane closures beginning on Wednesday, November 23. All construction will be paused on Thursday, November 24. Regular lane closures will resume on Monday, November 28.