STATEWIDE--This Thanksgiving week is expected to be a record week for travelers, which is why state police say they are stepping up patrols starting Wednesday.
Troopers will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), which is a federally funded project and will allow additional troopers to patrol area highways Wednesday through Sunday.
Indiana State Police Master Trooper Glen Fifield says last year is weighing heavily on the minds of officers.
“Last year, there were 12 fatalities as well as numerous accidents. We definitely want to see that number reduced to 0,” Fifield said.
Fifield says every road is important to them, but they will have some areas they will be focusing on in particular.
“We will pay particular attention to the heavily traveled interstates in the Lowell district. I-80/94, I-65, and U.S. 30, those corridors are going to be of primary concern for us. With Indianapolis, I’m sure it will be I-465 and I-65. Then as you go south, I-65, I-70, all of the major interstates are going to be of concern to us,” Fifield said.
Fifield said you should make sure you are well rested before you drive, don’t drive drunk, and avoid “hanging out” in the left lane. He says when you look at your phone while driving on the interstate, it’s one of the most dangerous things you can do.
“When you look down at your cell phone to read a text message, the average distance traveled is about 100 yards. That’s the length of a football field. If you’re not looking at the road and looking at your cell phone, you’re traveling a pretty good distance at 70 miles per hour. A lot of things can happen in that time frame that can result in a crash or a serious crash,” Fifield said.
Fifield says a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver and often mimics the driving behavior of an impaired driver.
(PHOTO: Getty Images/Sean Locke)