Thanksgiving travel weekend Ohio’s safest in nearly 30 years


This Thanksgiving travel weekend was one of safest on record, despite another increase in the number of expected travelers.

The holiday travel period from Wednesday to Sunday saw the fewest fatalities in 27 years, tying 1991 for the safest on record, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

For the 10th year in a row, more Ohioans decided to hit the road for the holiday than the previous year, reaching more than 2.2 million this year. More than 54 million Americans were expected to travel for Thanksgiving, up nearly 5 percent to the highest travel volume in 13 years, according to AAA.

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Travelers were expected to see higher volume, especially Tuesday through Thursday, not relegated to bigger cities, said Cindy Antrican, AAA Miami Valley spokeswoman.

In 2015 and 2016, nine people died while traveling in Ohio, and in other recent years, there have been up to 10 fatalities. This year, six travelers were killed in six separate fatal crashes.

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“We are always pleased to see a decrease in lives lost on Ohio’s roadways,” said Col. Paul Pride, patrol superintendent. “However, we can’t settle until the number of fatalities is zero. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is committed to keeping you and your family safe on our roads, every day and every night.”

During the five-day period, state troopers arrested 502 drivers for operating a vehicle while impaired, made 257 drug arrests and issued 1,538 safety belt violations.

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