Millions of motorists taking advantage of the weekend and three-day holiday of Eid al-Fitr took to the road on Friday, causing traffic congestion. Officials warned those traveling about the increased risk of accidents.
The ordeal of driving home for eid began on Friday as millions of drivers took to the road for five days of vacation on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which will start on Monday in Turkey. Traffic came to a halt on main roads while a section of the Trans-European Motorway (TEM) in the northern Turkish city of Bolu saw a 2-kilometer line of vehicles stuck in a traffic snarl in the early hours of Friday that later extended to 10 kilometers due to accidents.
Hitting the road early to avoid weekend traffic, motorists found themselves among hundreds of others on the highway which connects Turkey's west to the rest of the country.
Traffic police squads were deployed along the highway to prevent accidents, often carrying out inspections against traffic violations rules. Despite their presence, even minor accidents were sufficient to derail the flow of traffic.
Around 7 million travelers are expected to hit the road to spend their vacation in resorts or visit their parents or children living in other cities during Eid al-Fitr.
Experts warned drivers to be patient and attentive so as to not to cause accidents. Most accidents occur in the early hours of travel or near the final destination according to statistics.
Experts list a number of measures for drivers to avoid accidents or minimize the damage accidents inflict. Those include wearing comfortable clothes, undertake a thorough maintenance of their vehicle before traveling and immobilizing the heavy suitcases in the vehicle. Warning against drowsy driving, experts urge motorists to take a 30-minute rest every three hours while on long trips.