LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -With Memorial Day just around the corner, residents are making their plans on how to spend the holiday weekend.
Like most holidays, traffic will increase with those planning to travel for the weekend. So, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol wants drivers to be more aware of their surroundings and the potential for accidents.
OHP Trooper John Toombs says holidays usually bring more drivers, which increases the chance for distracted drivers. Trooper Toombs says it's natural for traffic to increase, but wants those traveling to be aware of the road.
Joan Fels, a Lawton resident, and her family are planning to travel out of state for the weekend to be with family. Fels says she knows that awareness is key to being safe on the road.
"We're going to have to stay alert, watch for others and hope that we aren't making any mistakes," she said.
Trooper Toombs says safety is something all travelers should consider.
"Slow down, pay attention. Don't text and drive. Don't drink and drive. Buckle your seat belts. That last one is really important, because again you can be doing everything right, and then someone else can do everything wrong. And if you're not wearing your seat belt, it can cost you dearly," Trooper Toombs said.
With most schools ending for the summer, more young drivers will be out traveling as well. Trooper Toombs says for those drivers, it's imperative to travel with safety in mind.
"For the younger drivers, you know again, it's extremely vital that they slow down and pay attention because less experience is going to compound those errors, your inattention and speed and things of that nature," he explained.
Fels says even though she pays attention, being a defensive driver is something everyone should know.
"We don't know what other people are going to do, so we've got to be alert. And be able to see if somebody else makes a mistake and it's going to affect us," Fels said.
Trooper Toombs says OHP will be increasing the number of troopers on the road this weekend and looking to catch those driving violations. He says while fun may be in your agenda, safety comes first.