VIGO CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Last year, during the Thanksgiving period, Indiana State Police worked 12 fatal wrecks in the state. Hoping to reduce that number, ISP will have extra patrols out.

According to AAA, 49 million people are expected to travel by car during the holidays. But some in the Wabash Valley will stay home due to gas prices.

Vincent Passero said it’s too expensive to visit his family in Chicago, saying it costs around $100 to fill up his Ford Fusion.

“This is actually the first time I’m not going to be with my family. Gas prices are just way too high, and I can’t afford it. My family understands, but it is a tragedy,” he said.

As of November 22, a gallon of gas in Indiana is $3.80, nearly 20 cents higher than the national average. Gas in Vigo County is around $3.63.

Even with a part-time job, Passero said the money goes quickly between gas and other bills.

“As a student, we already don’t have much money. I am just spending $100 there and having to come back for finals. It’s just something I can’t do, and I can’t afford it,” he added.

The Passero family will gather via zoom and will hopefully reunite.

With pre-pandemic traffic volume expected, extra patrols will be in highly trafficked areas in the Wabash Valley, including State Road 63, Interstate 70, US 41 and US 40.

They’ll look for drivers driving over the speed limit, distracted, without a seatbelt or recklessly.

“Don’t wait to start consuming alcohol and then make a bad decision and get behind the wheel. Give up your keys and get home safely so that on Thursday you’re sitting at the family dinner eating Turkey and eating pumpkin pie and not at jail,” Sgt. Matt Ames with the Indiana State Police said.

He adds that during this time of year, there’s an increase in intoxicated drivers due to events like ‘Drinks giving and Black Out Wednesday.’ Drivers are asked to have a designated driver or order an uber for the night.

“A lot of people will be home visiting with their friends and families, and a lot of alcohol will be consumed during that time. The Indiana State Police isn’t saying you can’t consume any alcohol, but we’re asking that you plan ahead and make a proper decision,” Ames said.