Travel over Thanksgiving is expected to be at its busiest since 2007. The AAA state that this is due to more disposable income and families wanting to be together this year. It could mean that just over 46 million people are travelling, causing havoc for the roads.
Along with the disposable income, the gas prices are lower and there is more consumer optimism this year. Projections show that at least 50 miles will be travelled over the Thanksgiving weekend by 46.3 million people. This is 4.2 percent more than people travelling over the same period last year. It is the largest amount since before the recession in 2007.
Marshall Doney, chief operating officer for the AAA, says that people are more confident in their financial situations. The GDP and employment rate have both risen, and people want to travel this year. A gallon of regular gas is even 43 cents less than it was last year, which encourages people to get back on the road.
Doney expects that 41.3 million will travel by car, which will make up 89 percent of travellers and is a 4.3 percent increase from last year’s figures. Air travel is also expected to increase with about 3.55 million people travelling this way. This is an increase of three percent from last year, and the highest amount since before the recession. Unlike gas prices, air costs have increased by about one percent, but that is not stopping people from travelling.
While Thanksgiving travel is expected to be at its busiest since 2007, it is not all due to decrease in costs. In fact, there are a number of costs that have increased since 2013. Midrange hotels are now eight percent more, while rental cars have increased by 10 percent.
The AAA is announcing this to encourage people to plan ahead. It will take about 25 percent longer for people to get to their destination. It is important to leave with plenty of time, which will also help to keep collisions to a minimum.
Thanksgiving is one of the worst times of year for accidents. According to the National Safety Council, 418 people are killed during this holiday season. Along with that, over 44,000 people are injured and require medical attention. Compared to the rest of the year, more people have accidents due to bad weather, alcohol and deer. The University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety encourages everyone to wear their seatbelts while driving to keeo themselves safe. It is also important to make sure the cars are in full working order, including checking air pressure.
The holiday season is classed as between November 26 and November 30. These are the two main dates that people will travel, but it is expected to be busy on the roads at any point between these five days. The Wednesday rush hour is expected to start two hours earlier than it usually would. It is best to avoid travelling any time between 2pm and 5pm. Thanksgiving travel is expected to be at its busiest between this block since 2007.
By Alexandria Ingham