COLUMBUS — Ohio highways will be full of travelers for the holidays.
Traffic volumes in Ohio increase an average of 37 percent for the Christmas holiday and 33 percent for New Year’s Day. The last time the holiday fell on a Sunday – 2011 – the busiest travel days were the Thursday before Christmas and the Monday after Christmas.
AAA is predicting a record 103.1 million Americans, including 4.2 million Ohioans, will be traveling more than 50 miles from home.
More than 90 percent will be driving to their destination, the highest total volume since AAA began tracking holiday travel data in 2001.
“The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends,” said Jerry Wray, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation. “We will do everything we can to make sure everyone gets where they need to go safely and on time. However, we also need drivers to do their part by following the speed limit, avoiding distractions, and making sure they and their passengers are wearing a seat belt.”
So far this year, there have been 1,094 traffic deaths in Ohio. Sadly, 319 of those deaths involved people not wearing a seat belt.
During high-travel holidays, ODOT makes every effort possible to reduce the size and scope of work zones. In some cases that’s not possible. Ohio has invested $2 billion into the state’s infrastructure this year with more than 1,000 construction projects in progress.
Travelers are encouraged to download Ohio’s official traffic app, OHGO, before heading 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. It even allows you to create a customized route and get alerts pushed directly to your phone.