With the average gallon of gas costing $2.85-at its lowest cost for the entire year and down 43 cents from this time last year-car group AAA says travelers can expect more traffic on the roads as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.
AAA projects that nearly 46.3 million people will travel a distance of at least 50 miles from home over the weekend (defined as Wednesday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 30), a 4.2% increase from last year-the highest anticipated volume since 2007, before the economic downturn the year after.
“Americans are more optimistic about the future as improvements in several key economic factors, including employment, GDP and disposable income, are boosting consumer confidence and the desire to travel,” says AAA president and chief operating officer Marshall Doney, as reported by USA Today.
According to AAA, nearly 90% of holiday travelers, or an estimated 41.3 million, will travel by automobile. Thanksgiving air travel is also expected to be at the highest level since 2007, with 3.55 million people flying to their destinations, AAA says (USA Today).
For those driving to get their turkey fix, INRIX’s Thanksgiving Travel Forecast says it will take at least 25% longer to get there this year.
According to INRIX analyst Jim Bak, the Wednesday pre-Thanksgiving rush hour is expected to begin about two hours earlier than on a typical Wednesday. He recommends drivers avoid traveling between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to skip the worst delays.
While the increased travel is great for businesses, it’s not great news for travelers, especially given the increased safety risk. The National Safety Council, as reported by USA Today expects 418 people will be killed during the holiday and another 44,700 injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Researchers at the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety say that vehicle crashes caused by deer, alcohol and bad weather are more common during Thanksgiving week than the rest of the year. Their most crucial piece of advice: Buckle up (USA Today).
Goodyear North America spokesperson Jim Davis says that Thanksgiving serves as a reminder that a drop in tire inflation pressure corresponds with falling thermometer readings. “Maintaining proper air pressure is the single most important thing drivers can do for their tires,” he says.
Arrive safely this Thanksgiving holiday by following these tips provided by the Red Cross:
1. Make sure the vehicle is in good working order.
2. Start out with a full tank of gas, check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full.
3. Always wear a seatbelt, observe the speed limit, and designate a driver when drinking to avoid impaired driving.
4. Be well-rested and alert.
5. Use caution in work zones.
6. Avoid distractions: never text and drive, avoid making or receiving phone calls unless absolutely necessary, and pay attention to the road.
7. Make frequent stops-during long road trips it may be necessary to rotate drivers.
8. Be respectful of other drivers.
For a full list click here.
*It is also recommended that all drivers have an emergency preparedness kit in the vehicle. Useful items include water, snacks, a flashlight, first aid kit, extra cash and blankets.
Altman & Altman wishes you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving next week. Should you ever be involved in a motor vehicle accident and would like to speak with an experienced attorney about your rights and options, don’t hesitate to call our office to schedule a free initial case evaluation. Our team of attorneys has 50 years of experience handling all types of personal injury and car accident cases; our track record of success speaks for itself. Our office is open around the clock and our attorneys are available to answer any and all of your questions.
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