RICHMOND (AP) -- Temporary highway lane closures will be suspended across Virginia to help holiday travelers reach their destinations.
AAA says more than 2.7 million Virginians will be traveling this holiday season with almost 91% taking to the roads.
The holiday period is defined as Saturday, December 21 to Wednesday, January 1.
AAA also says most drivers will pay less for a gallon of gas than a year ago to fill up during the holiday season.
Virginia DMV said 26 people died last year during the 10-day Christmas-New Year's Eve holiday season.
The Virginia Department of Transportation says lane closures in temporary work zones will be lifted from noon Tuesday until noon Thursday. and from noon Dec. 31 to noon Jan. 2.
Officials are encouraging Virginians to plan for a safe trip by staring well-rested, avoiding distractions, wearing your seat belt and obeying the speed limit and other traffic safety laws.
AAA tips for a safe trip:
• Ensure your vehicle is properly maintained. If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
• Map your route in advance and be prepared for busy roads during the most popular times of the year. If possible, consider leaving earlier or later to avoid heavy traffic.
• Have roadside assistance contact information on hand, in case an incident occurs during your trip.
• In case of an emergency, keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. AAA Tidewater and many other companies offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without making a phone call.
• Make sure you and your passengers are properly restrained in seat belts and car safety seats. Remember, the rear seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride.
• Stay fresh and alert when driving. Take plenty of breaks and do not push yourself to meet an unrealistic schedule. If you get tired, pull off the road into a rest area or business
• If there will be drinking at your holiday get-together, choose a designated driver who will remain alcohol free.
• Because driving requires your full attention, pull off the road if you have to use your cellular phone.