The Pennsylvania Turnpike is anticipating its busiest travel holiday of the year with an expected 3.6 million motorists this week. This is a slight decrease from last year.

Thanksgiving is a time where families gather from far and wide to visit loved ones. In 2018, 3.7 million motorists hit the Turnpike.

But with the increase in motor traffic comes a greater risk. During the Thanksgiving travel period in 2018, there were 2,546 crashes in Pennsylvania. Eighteen people lost their lives on the roadways in just six days.

PA Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey is reminding travelers to “focus on safety.”

“In addition to significantly higher traffic volumes, drivers may be more distracted. Also, the deer population is on the move this time of year, so vigilance is very important. Go carefully, plan ahead so you can take your time and stop at regular intervals for a break.”

Additionally, Operation Safe Holiday begins Monday, Nov. 25. The first part of the campaign is “Click It or Ticket,” which will continue through Dec. 8.

One of the operation’s goals is to enforce child passenger safety. The Pennsylvania State Police will offer no-cost seat fitting clinics throughout Pennsylvnia to help educate parents and guardians.

Of course, the state police will also be on the lookout for impaired motorists. Sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols, and regular traffic safety patrols begin Nov. 27 and will continue through New Year’s.