"Putting safety first increases your chances of arriving at your Thanksgiving destination safe and sound," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Holiday travel can provide challenges, such as drunk drivers on the roads, added distractions, people rushing to destinations and fatigued driving. These are all factors that could lead to tragedy on the roadways, so we encourage everyone to drive responsibly during the holiday season."
DPS troopers, along with many law enforcement agencies, will be patrolling throughout the holiday weekend to promote safety.
AAA Texas estimated the number of Texans traveling this holiday week will increase 1.6 percent compared to last year.
The association defines the holiday travel period as round trips of 50 miles or more between today and Sunday.
AAA Texas spokeswoman Rhonda Wilson said the predicted increase in holiday travel comes as people feel more confident this year about the economy.
During the Thanksgiving weekend in 2011, DPS troopers arrested 393 individuals for driving while intoxicated, issued more than 7,400 speeding citations and issued more than 900 safety restraint citations.
DPS offers the following tips for a safe trip during the Thanksgiving holiday: Don't drink and drive. Designate a driver or take a cab.
Eliminate distractions and don't text while driving. Buckle up everyone in the vehicle -- it's the law.
Slow down, especially in bad weather, construction areas and heavy traffic.
Slow down or move over for tow trucks, police, fire and EMS vehicles stopped on the side of the road with emergency lights activated -- it's the law.
Don't drive fatigued. Drive defensively because holiday travel may present additional challenges.
Make sure your vehicle is properly maintained before your trip begins.