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State Police offer tips for safe driving during the holidays

Be merry! And drive safe!

It was the message Illinois State Police troopers wanted everyone to hear Wednesday morning before thousands of motorists hit the road to get to their holiday destinations.

With rain, sleet, and snow in the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day forecasts, Lt. Mike Witt offered a few helpful reminders:

• Allow extra time to get to your destination.

• Slow down.

• Increase the distance between your car and the car in front of you.

• Don’t make sudden lane changes.

• Put your phones away while driving.

• And, above all, don’t drink and drive.

He noted that the top causes for accidents are speed, distracted driving and lane changes.

“Be courteous on Christmas,” Witt said during a rainy news conference held between the northbound and southbound lanes of the Kennedy Expressway — at an accident-investigation site, which is precisely the kind of place he does not want motorists to end up during the holidays.

“If you are involved in an accident, get to a safe location, exchange information with other drivers and call 911 for assistance from the state police,” he said.

Witt also suggested folks make sure their tires are properly inflated before hitting the roadways.

“I really think we can have a safe and merry Christmas,” he said.