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(Council Bluffs) -- You can expect the usual heavy amount of travelers on the road this week and holiday season.

That's according to the Iowa State Patrol, who are advising drivers to stay alert this holiday season for both an influx in the number of drivers, but also the yearly winter road conditions. Trooper and public resource officer Ryan Devault says, after a dramatic drop in motorists during the holidays last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drivers need to pay special attention to their ABCs of driving.

"'A' being always buckle up and always drive sober," Devault said. "In buckling up as a front seat occupant, your chances of fatal injuries goes down 45% just by buckling that seatbelt. There is such a thing that seatbelts do save lives, and that's the first thing we're trying to make sure people do, and then obviously always driving sober."

Devault says Iowa saw roughly 30 deaths on its roadways last year due to drunk or impaired driving. Plus, He adds "B" is for being a cautious driver and avoiding distractions on the road.

Devault says drivers should also be aware of more than just themselves on the roadway to wrap up the ABCs of safe driving this holiday season.

"You know you may doing everything correctly as you should, but maybe somebody next to you isn't," Devault said. "So if you can help yourself avoid a crash or a collision that you don't want to be a part of, you just have to keep a watchful eye, be careful out there when you're driving, and be a good defensive driver, and know what you want to do if something were to happen in front of you."

With the peak of the winter season just around the corner, Devault says those intending to drive should make sure their vehicle is in good shape before taking to the streets.

"You would like to have a good tread depth on those tires," Devault said. "A quick way is to take a penny, put it upside down, and if that tread depth is anything lower than the top of the head on the penny, then you want to try to get those tires replaced, because obviously good tire tread depth, once the precipitation starts, is a big one."

Devault says making sure windows are clear before driving and having a charged battery are other items to consider before travel.

Additionally, Devault also advises strongly considering how vital your intended travel is if poor conditions have escalated.

"You know if there's a heavy or considerably measurable amount of snow or winter storm warnings, you know those warnings are put in place for a reason," Devault said. "Obviously everybody likes to go places, but really consider your travel and is it important enough to go out in those conditions at times when you're really risking your life as well as others."

Devault also encourages motorists to give more time for travel and additional reaction time for braking and steering on potentially slick roads.

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