It pays to be prepared when you’re traveling, especially during a busy holiday like Fourth of July weekend. Here are some travel tips from Toni Mayo, a spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Transportation.
- Plan for an extra 30 minutes of drive time to get around city, county and state construction.
- Always travel with a full tank of gas. Even good drivers might run into delays that aren’t their fault, Mayo said, so be careful.
- Pack food, water and medicine you might need on the road. You can fill reusable water bottles at a rest stop.
- Make sure someone not traveling with you knows your route.
- Don’t leave the elderly, children or pets alone in a car, especially in hot temperatures.
- As always, drivers should look out for deer on both rural roads and busy highways. Keep an eye out just before and after sunrise and from sunset to midnight. There’s more risk of collisions at those times.
- Don’t swerve away from the deer — it’s usually safer to hit the animal than to hit another car or a fixed point like a utility pole. If you do hit a deer, don’t touch it. Report the accident to state police.
- Normal speeding fines are three times higher if you’re pulled over in a construction area. Violators could go to jail for up to eight years.
If you’re traveling to Indianapolis or Chicago for the weekend, look at the map below — it shows some construction areas where roads are open to only one lane of traffic or completely closed.
During holidays, Mayo said, INDOT tries to open up all lanes through construction zones, but that isn’t always possible. Plan to avoid these areas if you can — traffic will probably be backed up. Live updates on construction areas can be found at INDOT’s website.