Safety first: MHP SSG gives tips for safe travel ahead of Thanksgiving

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – With over 55 million people expected to be traveling for family, friends, and fun, safety should always remain a priority.

Staff Sergeant Derrick Beckom is with Troop G of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

He said a long holiday trip begins the night before, with a good night’s sleep.

“Sometimes they’re so excited, they may not be able to sleep the night before and they’re ready to go. But again you have to get that proper rest. Because a sleepy driver is very dangerous, very very dangerous,” said Beckom.

After you’ve had consistent rest, it’s time to check under the hood.

“You want to check all your fluids: antifreeze, oil, windshield wiper fluids. Every fluid that you may have. You want to get that checked. And if you’re not savvy enough to go under the hood and do that, you can always go by your local Walmart or your local 10-minute oil change places and let them do that for,” said Beckom.

I [Shawanda Jones] am definitely one of those inexperienced people Beckom described. So, I did just as he suggested and pulled up to Miller’s OK Tires.

Ken Jones is the manager. He told me exactly what to expect from his staff if I were to prepare for a long holiday road trip.

“We would inspect your tire tread and the air pressure of your tires. Check your brakes, struts, shocks, and those things. Check all your fluids, and your antifreeze, make sure your antifreeze is good. Then, check your oil, oil levels, and any windshield wiper fluids, we’ll check all of that for you,” said Jones.

If you’re going somewhere cold, Jones said to make sure you have enough antifreeze.

“If you don’t have the right amount of antifreeze or enough antifreeze in your car, you can mess your engine block up. So, it’s very serious. You want to make sure you got the proper amount in there and all of that’s checked before it gets too cold,” said Jones.

And the price tag if you don’t?

“As far as on the engine? It can be several thousand dollars,” said Jones.

Beckom had just a few more tips to keep you safe this holiday season.

“Make sure you’re buckled up. Make sure you have that designated driver, again make sure you get your rest. Just enjoy. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Don’t get in such a hurry that you’re involved in that crash. Everybody needs to, you know, gain some patience and understand that they’re not the only ones on the roadway and just have a good time,” said Beckom.

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