ABILENE, Texas - It's one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Many people are taking advantage of the long Labor Day weekend by packing up their cars and taking a road trip.
AAA estimates more than two million drivers will hit the roads this weekend. One of the reasons could be fair gas prices. Across Texas, they are down 16 cents compared to last year.
Department of Public Safety State Trooper Larry Adams said safety needs to be a top priority for travelers; it is for law enforcement.
"The objective of officers is to make sure everyone has a great weekend, a safe weekend, and that any vehicular travel done on the highway is done so safely," he said.
One of the most important precautions to take is to buckle up, especially children. It's against the law not to, even for backseat passengers.
"Nobody wants to be in a motor vehicle crash but when a crash does happen if you're not secured in the seat, then you stand a much greater chance of being injured," said Adams.
Making sure the vehicle is serviced is also important. Check tire pressure to avoid a blowout.
"Highway speeds, the heat of the roadway, and under inflated tires, you're asking for a crash," said Adams.
He also suggests avoiding aggressive drivers.
"Don't engage them, it's not worth it," said Adams. "Sometimes you want to, it's aggravating, but let that guy go on down the road."
One traveler we spoke to admitted to his fair share of road rage.
"My girlfriend's with me and she usually slaps me on the back of the head and tells me to slow down and get off them," said Preston Holland.
"It's not worth it and once they get down the road and calm down they'll realize they're jeopardizing other peoples lives," said Ricky Vaughn, another holiday traveler.
Most people at the Interstate 20 rest stop east of Abilene Friday said they know the drill.
"Slow down, watch for traffic, anything out of the ordinary, if you get tired pull over," said Ruben Ruiz.
If you need to pull over, Trooper Larry Adams says to find a mile marker sign and pull all the way over.
"Get as far to the right as possible, you don't want to be right next to traffic," he said.
And know the rules of the road.
"Go on about your way, but the main thing is, get there safely," said Adams.
Here are some other tips from the Department of Public Safety:
Don't drink and drive. Have a designated driver if alcohol is to be consumed. No open containers of alcoholic beverages in the vehicle.
Don't text and drive.
Plan your route and stick to it. Let family and friends know your planned route and itinerary. If you do change your route, let someone know.
Always buckle up and make sure everyone else in your vehicle is buckled up.
Service your vehicle prior to the trip. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to avoid a blowout.
Each year for the Labor Day holiday, DPS enforcement is increased. Last year, DPS issued nearly 3,890 seat belt or child safety seat citations. Enforcement also resulted in 24,779 speeding tickets, and 4,062 no insurance citations.
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