BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Highway Patrol is warning drivers to be extra cautious while out on the road this Memorial Day weekend. The agency's "Drive to Survive" initiative kicked off Friday at 6 p.m. It will run through Memorial Day at midnight.
State troopers say higher traffic volume and bad weather could make for even more dangerous driving conditions than usual. That's why MHP will have all hands on deck working to keep the roads safe this weekend.
"On a daily basis, we deal with a lot of crashes in South Mississippi with just summer showers," said MHP Capt. Johnny Poulos. "When we have this type of rainfall that we're dealing with hydroplaning issues become really prevalent on our highways."
Capt. Poulos said there are a number of reasons for that, which includes tires with an insufficient amount of tread and driving at high speeds in the rain.
"Windshield wiper blades, a lot of people do not realize, but windshield wiper blades play a big role in visibility," explained Capt. Poulos. "Make sure that you have new wiper blades and again we just want everybody to drive in a safe manner."
The troopers will be conducting checkpoints throughout the Memorial Day holiday. They'll be looking for impaired drivers and making sure motorists and passengers are buckled up.
In addition, there will be saturation patrols looking for distracted drivers, such as someone looking at their phone while driving or a driver simply not paying attention.
"This is going to be a very busy weekend for us," said Capt. Poulos. " A lot of traffic and we're asking for very good decisions from motorists."
With the bad weather and the holiday enforcement period, some South Mississippi drivers say they will be staying inside for the three-day holiday.
"I am gonna be staying at home," said Brittany Ducksworth. "It's too much traffic."
Capt. Poulos said they'll have radar enforcement too. MHP will end it's enforcement period Monday at midnight.