(COLUMBUS) – AAA is forecasting that a record-4.6 million Ohioans will travel more than 50 miles from home this holiday. More than 90 percent of those Ohioans will travel by vehicle. The last time Christmas fell on a Tuesday, 2012, Ohio roads experienced a 37 percent increase in traffic volume, according to Ohio Department of Transportation traffic count stations. “We expect to see a lot of vehicles on Ohio’s highways this holiday season, especially between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. over the weekend before Christmas,” said Dave Gardner, manager of the ODOT Traffic Monitoring Section.
“The best thing you can do is plan your route ahead, check OHGO.com before you leave, and allow extra time to reach your destination,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “Patience will be key.” ODOT plans to reduce the size and scope of active work zones as much as possible during high-travel holidays. However, that’s not always possible. “Please be extra alert when driving through work zones. Many work zones include traffic pattern shifts, narrower lanes, and additional signage. This requires you to reduce your speed and increase distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you,” Wray said. ODOT is also utilizing more than 130 digital highway message boards to display a variety of traffic safety messages. The goal is to remind drivers to buckle up, obey the speed limit, drop the distractions, and never drive impaired. “These creative and funny messages are meant to spark conversations about safety and hopefully inspire changes in behaviors,” said Wray. The public can submit message ideas by clicking here.