NEGAUNEE — As Michiganders prepare for a Thanksgiving holiday filled with traveling, the Michigan State Police are gearing up for their annual Operation C.A.R.E. traffic safety initiative.

Thanksgiving is the second deadliest holiday in Michigan for traffic crashes.

Since starting the initiative last year, Michigan recorded the lowest number of fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday period in more than 40 years.

Michigan State Police Trooper, Stacey Rasanen said, “Just by having high visibility patrols out there and being able to assist motorists, we are actually saving people lives and making sure that they arrive safely to their destinations.”

Beginning today, troopers across the state will be on the lookout for impaired drivers, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding.

“We are out there for people’s safety and we just want to make sure people arrive safe and that they get to their destinations. Again, there is more patrol out so that if they need help and they need to call 911 we are out to assist them.”

With the arrival of winter weather, drivers are also encouraged to take extra precautions when driving in snowy and icy conditions, such as placing an emergency preparedness kit in their vehicles.