LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Thanksgiving is days away and many are planning to travel for family, fun, and food. Louisiana State Police are encouraging motorists to carve out time to safely plan for holidays before they hit the road.

Here are a few ways to ensure a safe and stress-free holiday commute.

  • Instead of leaving at the same time as everyone else, state police suggest you leave a day or even days before the actual holiday.
  • This prevents the hassle of driving over the speed limit to make sure you get to your destination on time.
  • In fact, if you leave ahead of time your chances are being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic is low.
  • State police warn commuters, the extra five minutes you save from speeding is not worth the risk of a speeding ticket, losing your life, or taking someone else’s life.

“We do unfortunately see an uptick in crashes around the holidays because of so much traffic during the holidays,” explains Trooper Thomas Gossen.

Before getting on the road, proper vehicle maintenance is important. Check your tires, check your engine and always make sure you have a car safety kit in case of an emergency.

“Proper vehicle maintenance is extremely important,” Gossen said. “Many times, we come up to vehicles that are stalled, on the side of the roadway or have a flat tire and the spare tire is flat as well. Making sure you have the proper equipment in place will save you a lot of time and heartache depending on where you’re going.”

He also warns commuters that it is against the law to drive impaired, distracted, or without a seatbelt.