BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Route 224 in Boardman has always been known to have traffic. It’s not anything new to law enforcement, especially around this time of the year. So, we spoke with a patrolman from the Ohio State Highway Patrol – Canfield Post about what they see and what you can do to protect yourself.

We are five days away from Christmas, and with everyone heading out to get their last-minute gifts, it means there will be added traffic along Route 224 near the shopping centers.

“I would say it’s an increase. It increases usually until the holiday. Last week, it picked up but obviously it continues to get more and more traffic,” said Sgt. Matthew Abbey.

Even around noon on Monday, traffic was backed up. During this heavy traffic, accidents can still occur.

“One of our big problems right now is distracted driving, especially with people trying to get these last-minute gifts. They’re busy, they have things going on and they’re not necessarily paying attention to what’s happening in front of them,” Sgt. Abbey said.

Multiple departments have jurisdiction over that stretch of road.

Sgt. Abbey says accidents typically increase but many of them aren’t that bad due to the tight traffic.

“Typically they’re rear-end crashes — people are following too close. Everyone is in a hurry to get where they need to be and do what they got to do,” Sgt. Abbey said.

People might end up getting impatient with the increased traffic.

Highway Patrol recommends a car length for every 10 mph.

“Give it time, that’s the biggest thing, give it time. Pay attention to the traffic. Don’t try to beat the traffic lights. If you get into a crash, you’re going to be a lot later than you would have been if you would have waited for the traffic,” Sgt. Abbey said.

Expect the traffic to remain this way through the new year.

“There’s still some after Christmas sales but it does tend to go down into January,” Sgt. Abbey said.