The Tennessee Highway Patrol will have an increased presence along Interstate 40 Sunday.
RC Christian is a Captain for the THP’s Cookeville District. He said the agency will have a state trooper stationed every 20 miles.
“You know, the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the most heavily traveled periods of the year,” Christian said. “This is going to give us a little bit more of a combined effort. We’re all out there and people are going to see the marked patrol cars and say, ‘Hey, they’re watching things.’ You know, we’re just trying to make sure that people get to their destinations safely.”
Drivers will see increased patrols as part of the “I-40 Challenge” traffic safety initiative. Christian said the THP wants to see zero fatalities along Tennessee’s 455 mile stretch of interstate.
“Wear your seat belt and don’t drive distracted. It’s going to take all the attention that you have to get you safely where you need to be,” Christian said. “One little error can cause us a great deal of headache during those days.”
In 2018, there were 46 crashes on the Wednesday before and 55 crashes on the Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday on I-40.
AAA predicts more than 55 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving holiday. Tennesseans make up 1.3 million of those travelers, with an estimated 1.2 million expected to travel by car.