ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WTRF)

Traffic in the Ohio Valley is now different as many people were beginning to travel, or heading out for last minute errands before Thanksgiving dinner.

With so many people out and about, the Ohio State Highway Patrol is encouraging everyone to be as safe as possible while behind the wheel.

Troopers say to buckle your seat belt, keep your eyes on the road, leave early so you don’t feel forced to go faster and keep a generous distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.

“We want to encourage people who decide to go out and drink to make sure that you designate a driver or make arrangements prior to going to that event. The other violations we typically see are distracted driving, high speeds, people just they’re impatient when it comes to getting stuck in traffic. Fortunately we don’t have any construction with a Belmont County going on right now but beware of construction in other areas as well as the weather.”

LT. MAURICE WADDELL- POST COMMANDER, OHIO STATE HIGHWAY PATROL

During last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, there were 14 fatal crashes and 17 people were killed.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol will also be heavily enforcing impaired driving and looking out for those who aren’t wearing a seatbelt through Sunday.