ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Georgia State Patrol handed out more than 11,000 tickets during the Thanksgiving holiday week in 2018.
That same year, there were several traffic accidents that claimed the lives of 15 people, according to a Georgia State Patrol (GSP) report.
Those numbers are from the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday season, which started at 6 p.m. on Nov. 22 and lasted until 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 25.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety held a press conference about holiday safety in Albany Monday.
Troopers said your best defense is to buckle up and put down your cell phone to avoid being the next victim in a fatal crash.
“This thing shouldn’t be anywhere near you. State law is there but forget about the law, think about common sense. If you’re paying attention to this you’re not paying attention to the road,” said Colonel Mark McDonough with GSP.
Troopers want drivers to be safe during the Thanksgiving holiday. They said more than 300 people were arrested in Georgia for driving under the influence.
“Drinking and driving, we are serious about that. We don’t give out warnings for DUI. We will lock you up and we want you to not put yourself in that position,” said McDonough.
GSP offered tips to help keep you safe on the roadways.
They said plan ahead for a sober ride. They advise everyone to use public transportation, a ride-sharing service or have a designated driver.
Also AAA’s Tow-To-Go Program will tow you and your vehicle up to 10 miles for free from Wednesday to Dec. 1.
Also don't try to make up time by speeding.
“Slower is safer. If you could pick the speed at which you’d end up being in an accident, every one of us would want it to be slower, not faster,” said McDonough.
Make sure everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt.
“The law says as an adult you don’t have to wear it in the backseat, but common sense says put that seat belt on. It saves lives" said McDonough.
You may have noticed more troopers on the roads in recent days, they said they have increased their patrols in the area by 50 percent for the Thanksgiving travel season.