TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – State troopers said they have already seen an increase in the number of drivers traveling for Labor Day Weekend.
However, with local construction and an increase in distracted driving, some say it’s important to plan ahead.
INDOT Southwest Public Relations Director Gary Brian said with holiday travel comes new and unfamiliar routes for many drivers.
“Be extra cautious when you see those orange signs out when you see the orange barrels,” Brian said. “That extra five minutes or two minutes, or whatever it might be, will be worth you having a good labor day weekend.”
Brian said drivers should be aware of construction on US-41 in Carlisle, as well as US-150 east of Shoals, and the Red Skelton Bridge.
“That’s the bridge that connects Indiana to Illinois in Knox County, we are still working on that one too as well,” Brian said. ” So if you are making that track from you know Vincennes Knox County into Illinois make sure you just again give yourself a little extra time as we do have some lane changes.”
ISP Public Information Officer Sergeant Matt Ames said many patrols will focus on making sure high-speed and high-traffic areas such as U.S. Routes and Interstate 70 are safe for travelers.
“A lot of times we will see people report an intoxicated driver, and once we make a traffic stop on that induvial, we find someone has just been traveling for approximately for 12 to 13 hours, and they just need a break,” Ames said. “What we encourage people to do if you are traveling an excess of three to four hours, make sure that you are taking a proper stop, you’re getting out, your stretching you’re legs, you’re stopping to get a cup of coffee or a coke.”
As traffic continues to pick up for Labor Day Weekend, Sargent Ames said the number of fatalities increases.
“I would say on average we are working five to ten fatal accidents within the entire state of Indiana,” Ames said.
Clay County Resident Annette Durcholz said she noticed large crowds on and off the roads.
“I came to Terre Haute this morning just to run errands, realizing it was a holiday weekend, there’s a lot of traffic and the stores are really crowded,” Durcholz said. “It’s busier than a normal week.”