HONOLULU (KHON2) — In the last two weeks, about 13 people died in traffic accidents across Hawaii, according to police media reports. At least seven traffic fatalities in the last two weeks were possibly a result of speed, three because of intoxication and one because of inattention.
Multiple county police departments have sent out messages urging people to be careful when driving and take extra care, especially during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.
“We have heard about some terrible tragedies in the islands on our roadways and that’s why it’s so important that we remember to pay extra attention when we’re on the roadway,” said Doug Shupe with AAA Hawaii.
Police have increased road blocks and check points across the state.
However Shupe said even if you don’t drink and drive, there are other dangerous habits during the holidays you need to watch out for, such as driving when you’re tired, which may happen if you get up early for Black Friday sales.
He recommends getting at least seven hours of sleep, so you don’t nod off on the road.
“Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds just doubles your chances of being involved in a crash,” said Shupe.
That’s why it’s also important to limit distractions in the car, such as eating, focusing on passengers or using your phone, when you’re driving.
“Our focus – our eyes must be on the road. Our hands must be on the steering wheel, and our mind really should be on really what’s the most important task at hand, and that’s focusing on the road,” said Shupe.
Lastly, he recommends giving yourself extra time to get where you need to go. So you don’t have to rush when you’re on the road.
“We want this holiday week to be remembered for quality time, delicious meals and great bonding with our friends and our loved ones. Not because of a tragedy that can all too often be prevented with a little bit of extra attention on the roadway by wearing our seat belts, by obeying the speed limit and not driving intoxicated,” said Shupe.
Honolulu police have already started setting up random drunk driving checkpoints since the beginning of November. Other county police departments are also gearing up for increased traffic enforcement this holiday season.