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TDOT and THP adding measures to increase safe travels for the Thanksgiving weekend

AAA is estimating 48.3 million people will be driving to celebrate the holiday this year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year on the road. AAA is estimating 48.3 million will be driving to celebrate the holiday this year. That's almost as many as the 49.9 million who traveled back in 2019 before the pandemic started. 

Through the weekend, the Tennessee Department of Transportation will open any temporary lane closures to help keep traffic moving and avoid any major backups. 

"We want to make sure we’re making every effort to give everyone the most capacity of travel lanes that they can when traveling to see their family and friends," Nichole Lawrence with TDOT said.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol is increasing the number of troopers on the highways and interstates so drivers know to be extra careful. 

"We’re not going to take away from the counties," Sgt. Chris Richardson with THP said. "We’re going to have patrol everywhere, but we’re just going to concentrate efforts on mainly I-40, but that’s not to say we won’t have troopers on 51, on 385."

TDOT is also putting extra highway response units along I-40 in Shelby and Fayette counties. 

"Just to keep an eye on the traffic if anyone is stranded or needs assistance you can see our yellow trucks throughout the West Tennessee area on the interstate," Lawrence said.

If you're worried about any heavy traffic or accidents delaying your travel, you can check the TDOT SmartWay map for updates. 

You can report accidents by calling 511.