COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With the Thanksgiving holiday weekend winding down and people preparing to return home, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers are cracking down on unsafe drivers.

OSHP is encouraging drivers to not rush and take their drive slow because cruisers will be out in full force over the next few nights.

According to AAA, fatalities on the country’s roadways are rising at an alarming rate, with speeding and cellphone usage being some of the highest risk factors.

OSHP trooper Sgt. Brice Nihiser said OSHP has noticed these rising trends as well and is working to put a stop to it.

“We’re going to have an increase in stops, we’re going to see an increase in violations, but ultimately what we want to see is a decrease in crashes and a decrease in those fatalities that we see on these holiday weekends,” Nihiser said.

This holiday weekend, more than 53 million people are expected to travel, according to AAA, and more than 90 percent of them will be on the roads. This brings travel volumes to near pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels and hasn’t been seen since 2019.

“Our traffic volumes as a whole in Ohio were only down about three percent compared to the same period in 2019,” said Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning.

But an increase in cars isn’t the only thing travelers should watch for. Bruning said that with wintery weather affecting the northern part of Ohio, drivers can expect to see more ODOT crews working the roads.

“We already have about 200 crews out as of right now, and that will continue throughout the overnight hours,” he said.

Nihiser is asking drivers to not only be safe but also prepared as the colder weather moves in.

“We’re seeing colder temperatures, those situations where maybe you get a flat tire or your car breaks down, make sure to have some blankets, have some warm stuff in your car,” Nihiser said.

The highway patrol is also advising motorists that if they see any suspicious or erratic driving behavior on the roads to call #677, which will put them in contact with the nearest patrol post to their location.