(WHTM) — A busy week of holiday travel is on the menu for Thanksgiving this year. Some of it will start Tuesday, with the worst day likely to be Wednesday. There are going to be a lot more cars on the road, so safety is a primary concern.

State officials launched their annual Operation Safe Holiday to remind drivers what not to do. Travel numbers are expected to be higher than the last two years, and officials say the pandemic has made some bad driving behaviors worse.

“We want all Pennsylvania drivers to arrive safely,” Mike Keiser, PennDOT Acting Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration, said.

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About 1.7 million Pennsylvanians are expected to take to the roads, but that number does not cover all the cars expected to travel through the state. The Pennsylvania Turnpike alone is expecting 3.5 million this holiday week.

“We hope to see more people buckled up and driving sober and fewer fatal crashes on Pennsylvania roads,” Keiser said.

Operation Safe Holiday includes all the normal reminders like wearing a seatbelt and not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Please buckle up, on every trip, every time,” Keiser said.

According to PennDOT, over a thousand crashes during the 2021 holiday season involved impaired drivers and led to 41 deaths.

“Every one fatality is obviously one too many,” Keiser said.

Another big concern is distracted driving.

“I can’t tell you how many times we see someone getting a water bottle, getting their phone that leads to that. That split second decision leads to a lot of disaster a lot of times,” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton said.

This is not a new concern but Compton said the pandemic has made it worse.

“Folks were used to being on highways and crossings with less traffic. Now those mistakes are still happening, but they’re doing so with somebody beside you,” he said.

Compton said he is also seeing more aggressive driving.

“Road rage, you got people frustrated, trying to get to their intended location. Practice patience,” he said.

While officials are expecting a lot of travel, holiday traffic isn’t quite back up to pre-pandemic levels.

“I suppose if gas prices were just a little bit less too that might make a difference,” Jason Kirsch, Central PA AAA spokesperson, said.

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While gas prices are trending down slightly, they remain high, up over 40 cents compared to this time last year, according to AAA.

“There has been a slight dip in gas prices just over the last week, so hopefully we’ll see that trend continue as we head further into the holiday season,” Kirsch said.

Officials said if you plan to drive this Thanksgiving, the best thing to do is plan ahead and make sure you have some kind of emergency kit including of snacks and water to keep you going through traffic.