OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Statistics released by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol show Oklahoma roads were a mess last Thanksgiving weekend. With the busiest travel day of the year being the day before Thanksgiving, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said they plan to up their patrols this holiday weekend.
“Obviously, it’s a highly, highly traveled weekend,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III. “People are trying to get to family, trying to get around friends and other loved ones.”
According to that OHP data, last Thanksgiving weekend the sooner state saw 586 wrecks. Of those, 190 involved injuries and 6 of them were fatalities killing 6 people.
“You can’t just jump in the car when we’re finished and we’re about to part ways and think that’s okay because buzzed driving is still drunk driving,” Johnson said. “And intoxicated driving not only hurts you, it hurts other people.”
Of the total wrecks, 47 of them were alcohol or drug related with 3 of those being fatalities. That shows that over 8 percent of the Thanksgiving holiday crashes in Oklahoma involved a potentially impaired driver. This year, Johnson said they will be out trying to prevent that.
“Yes, we’re having extra patrols,” he said. “We are actively seeking out intoxicated drivers.”
2017 and 2018 still show the highest numbers of fatalities as well as the highest number of drug or alcohol related fatalities over the last five years. So, while everyone should enjoy their holiday, Johnson said do so safely.
“I completely encourage you to enjoy yourself,” he said. “But what I would say is be responsible because my men and women will be out and we will be keeping the roadways safe for everybody out that’s driving.”
The data also showed that the majority of wrecks happened on the day before Thanksgiving after 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday after the holiday most wrecks occurred in the afternoon or early evening hours. Most fatalities occurred in the later evening hours.