"Our message is simple … drive safe, drive sober and buckle up," said Contra Costa Area Capt. Jim Cahoon.
During last year's Thanksgiving period, 42 people died in 4,768 collisions in California, reported the CHP. More than half of those killed were not wearing their seatbelts. In addition, last year 1,670 people were arrested by CHP officers for driving under the influence during the long weekend, a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous year.
Millions of Californians take to the roads over Thanksgiving, and the crowded highways can lead to frustrations at the wheel, noted the CHP.
"Be prepared for traffic tie-ups, especially on the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving," said Cahoon.
Inclement weather also can plague travelers, with rain, fog, wind and snow creating hazardous conditions.
"Many crashes are caused by driving too fast for current conditions," Cahoon added.