Columbus, Ohio - State officials are forecasting that a record-4.6 million Ohioans will travel more than 50 miles from home this holiday, and 90 percent of them will travel by vehicle.
The last time Christmas fell on a Tuesday in 2012, the Ohio Department of Transportation recorded a 37 percent increase in traffic volume. ODOT Traffic Monitoring Manager Dave Gardner says they're expecting similar conditions for this year.
"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," he says.
ODOT Director Jerry Wray says patience and preparation are key when it comes to holiday travel.
"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," he says.
Wray says ODOT is planning 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 will also be utilizing more than 130 digital highway message boards to remind drivers to buckle up, obey the speed limit, drop the distractions, and never drive impaired.