Thanksgiving weekend to see highest number of travelers in a decade


COLUMBUS — Thanksgiving is the holiday with the most travelers on the road each year and this year will be no exception. AAA is predicting 2 million Ohioans will be traveling at least 50 miles from home for the holiday, a 2.1 percent increase over last year and the highest number since 2005. Nationally, 48.7 million Americans will travel for Thanksgiving.

In Ohio, nine out of every ten travelers will drive to their destination. With more cars on the road during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, motorists can ease frustration by planning ahead, especially when driving through construction zones. ODOT makes every effort possible to reduce the number and size of work zones during top travel holidays. Already this year, there have been more than 5,000 crashes in Ohio work zones resulting in 26 deaths and 150 serious injuries. The top causes of these crashes are drivers following too closely and speed.

The Ohio Highway Patrol also reminds motorists to do their part in keeping roadways safe this Thanksgiving by buckling up. Safety belts save lives and reduce injury in crashes. From 2012-2014, more than half of people killed on Ohio’s roadways were not wearing a safety belt.

Last year, nine people were killed and 118 seriously hurt in 4,007 crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Alcohol was a factor in 226 crashes and seat belts were not used in 282 crashes.

Travelers are encouraged to download Ohio’s official traffic app, OHGO, before they head out the door. The app, which is available for Apple and Android devices, allows users to view real-time traffic speeds, more than 600 live traffic cameras, construction zone information, and traffic alerts. You can even create a customized route and get alerts pushed directly to your phone.

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Staff report