Belmont County, Ohio (WTRF) – Are you excited to have a semi-normal Thanksgiving again with family?

Well, you’re not the only one—and that’s why this year is expected to see the highest one-year travel increase in more than 15 years.

That translates to more than 53 million Americans loading up the car for a long trip, including more than two million Ohioans.

So a 13 percent increase from last year, and the fourth-highest Thanksgiving holiday travel volume on record. It is going to be extremely busy and a lot busier than last year.

Kimberly Schwind, AAA spokesperson

When combined with the increase in fatal crashes in 2021, it’s a cause for alarm.

Thanksgiving is one of the highest times of year for DUI accidents, with more than 300 impaired drivers arrested just at this time last year.

So before you pop open that champagne, the Patrol says you should know whether you’re calling an Uber or having someone you know drive you around.

So that if you do partake in those festivities, you’re going to make it home safely. Or that you’re going to make it home without coming in contact with one of us too.

Lt. Nathan Dennis, Ohio State Highway Patrol

We’ve all become familiar with the sight of those orange barrels around the Wheeling area.

And ODOT says you can expect to see a few more if you’re heading west, along with the inevitable slowdown of traffic.

That means some extra attention is required, especially when driving on highways you’re not necessarily familiar with.

You could see narrower lanes, you could see lane shifts, you’re going to have people driving through the state of Ohio that may not be familiar with the work zone setups.

Matt Bruning, Press Secretary for ODOT

And finally, we hear it all the time but we’re all guilty of it one way or another–the distractions have to go.

They don’t have to be phones either—changing the radio station or drinking a cup of coffee are just as good at taking your hands off the wheel where they belong.

What we want to see is everybody make it to their destinations to celebrate in this time with friends and family, and make it back home safely at the end of the weekend.

Lt. Nathan Dennis, Ohio State Highway Patrol

But whether you ask law enforcement, driving experts or Ohio’s transportation department, there’s one message they all stress before hopping in the car for grandma’s house—plan ahead.

ODOT has made it as easy as possible for you to do so—

They have a map of major roadwork at, along with live traffic cameras to help you beat the Turkey Day traffic.