Holiday shopping traditionally begins this week during Thanksgiving and it also marks the start of holiday trips to see relatives and friends.
The Missouri Department of Transportation reminds motorists to drive with extra caution during the holidays.
"The Thanksgiving holiday is about togetherness and fun for many," said Don Hillis, MoDOT assistant chief engineer. "It also can be a time of long drives and bleary-eyed early morning shoppers."
Hillis warned drivers to drive defensively during the holidays. "You can't always count on other drivers to be attentive. So be sure to keep a sharp eye out and be ready to react," he said.
Another hazard this time of the year is the weather. "Thanksgiving also marks the start of winter weather awareness. Snow and ice debuts in late November or early December," Hillis said.
Many ice storms strike in December when it is still warm enough to rain instead of sleet. If the weather is cold enough, the rain will freeze and create major travel hazards.
Snow also can occur early in the winter season. "MoDOT is ready to fight the flakes when the arrive," Hillis said.
Paul Winkelmann, Callaway County Highway administrator, said his department has plenty of cinders and salt ready for the winter season.