AAA Predicts More Thanksgiving Car Travel


By Lisa Blackwell

The roadways will be crowded this Thanksgiving weekend as more people are expected to drive for the holiday.

AAA says travel by car will be up ten percent from Thanksgiving last year with 90 percent of drivers hitting the road.

While AAA says air travel is down, Mark Wnuk, Executive Assistant Director with Montgomery Regional Airport says they expect an average of 5000 people to pass through each day.

Whether you're travelling by car or by plane, experts say allow extra time to arrive at your destination. At Montgomery Regional Airport, Thanksgiving travel is not the last minute rush it used to be.

"Traditionally you've had the day before and the Sunday following Thanksgiving that were the peak days but it seems in recent years consumers have been stretching out the holiday weekend so many are leaving Monday prior and returning later," said Wnuk.

On the roadways it's a different story. Over 43 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend and most are hitting the road.

Matt Sittnick, from Tennessee, says, "I have heard that it's a really dangerous time of the year to be driving home it seems like so far before lunch everyone's doing pretty well, but I'll be driving through the night so we'll see how the conditions get then."

Experts say because of all those extra need to be very careful.

State troopers say be very alert you have less time to react to dangers on the road.

Sgt. Steve Jarrett, Alabama State Troopers, says "Avoid driving while distracted, try not to eat while you're driving, let somebody else adjust the radio, lets put down those phones and focus on the task at hand which is driving that vehicle."

Troopers will also be watching for speeders, something driver Denis Ryan of New Orleans, says he's seen a lot of.

"The average speed's about, including myself, about 80 so that's about what it's going 80, 85 (mph)," said Ryan.

Events like the Turkey Day Classic, The Iron Bowl and Black Friday shopping will add to the congestion in Alabama, all the more reason to pay very close attention to the road.

Experts say more people are choosing to go by car this year because it's still the cheaper way for a whole family to travel.

AAA recommends getting your car checked out by a mechanic before you hit the road, but at the very least, be sure to check the fluids and the tire pressure.

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