ST. LOUIS – The Missouri Department of Transportation expects the most people to be on the roads this Thanksgiving holiday since 2005.
They are pushing drivers to be mindful of what they call a traffic trifecta which includes impaired driving, distracted driving, and congested roadways.
"Traffic was horrible, but we’re glad to be here back in St. Louis,” said Linda Naert who traveled from Charleston, South Carolina.
Not only are Missouri’s roads expected to be congested as the Turkey Day celebrations get underway, but the bars are also full.
“People are coming home,” Naert said. “They know that they are going to be home and cozy on Thanksgiving Day, so I think they’re catching up with friends.”
“I think the day before Thanksgiving has always been a big go out and party as much as you can and then get over the hangover in the morning for Thanksgiving,” said Donald Fleming, a patron at Syberg’s bar in downtown St. Louis.
Thanksgiving Eve is also known as “Blackout Wednesday,” a big bar night when the spirits are flowing across the city.
Major Brands Inc. and Jim Beam have partnered with the ridesharing app, Lyft, to offer 1,500 free rides.
It’s one option to make sure drivers “make it to the table” this holiday season.
“As the largest Missouri wholesaler of premium beverages, we feel it’s our responsibility to really take care of our communities,” said Gena Feldmann, Trade Marketing Manager.
According to MoDOT, an average of 16 people have died on Missouri roadways every holiday season.
While many are expected to travel the roadways, the vouchers are available for those traveling the area for a good time.
“There’s nothing that should come before safety,” Naert said. “This is the day before Thanksgiving, but you have Christmas and you have the rest of your life coming up so be careful tonight and take advantage of the free ride.”
The vouchers are available while supplies last up until 2 a.m. on Thursday, November 28.