2.5 million motorists expected to hit highways for holidays


The Tennessee Department of Transportation has halted all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state for the holidays.

No temporary lane closures will be allowed for construction on Tennessee roadways until 6 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2.

“With over two million drivers expected to travel Tennessee roadways during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, keeping traffic moving and getting motorists to their destinations safely is our top priority,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “As always, please wear your seatbelt, reduce your speed, avoid distractions, and never drink and drive.”

TDOT said workers may still be on-site in some construction zones. Drivers should obey all posted speed limits, particularly in construction areas. Slower speeds are necessary in work zones due to the temporary layout of the roadway and will be enforced. Drivers convicted of speeding through work zones where workers are present face a fine of $250 to $500, plus court fees and possible increased insurance premiums.

AAA predicts over 2.5 million motorists are expected to travel by automobile in the volunteer state between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, an increase of 5.1 percent since 2017. According to AAA, 112.5 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more, with 102.1 million expected to drive to their holiday destinations.